Wintery, Blustery St. Augustine

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January 6th 2010
Published: June 16th 2017
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Tried to Break In--Needed Powers of FountainTried to Break In--Needed Powers of FountainTried to Break In--Needed Powers of Fountain

Old guys have to use every possibility to regain that 300 yard drive.
Geo: 29.892, -81.3143

You go for the history, but you stay for the eclectic little shops surrounding old town. I could stay a week wandering in and out of tiny, classy, funky eye-candy shops on tiny, narrow, closed-in, cobbled, wobble-d lanes.

St. Augustine was Spain's bastioned battle front against the hungry British and French. This was a veritable lifeline of wealth they were protecting. I mean...Spain had been pouring gold and silver from Peru and Bolivia into Spanish coffers for years through these waters, and had no intention of brooking opposition. They could deal with the pirates, but the British were no longer content to pick off a ship or two. They wanted the trade route. They wanted it all.

The upstarts were to be nailed!

St. Augustine had one of the few usable harbors on this north flowing Gulf Stream along the Florida coast, which landed it smack in the middle of the frey between Spain, France and England. And as such was the first city established by Europeans in the new country. First the Spanish established it in 1565, then the British managed a bloody take-over in 1763 which lasted until 1784 when the Spanish grabbed it back. Finally it became part of
Equally as Cold as MontanaEqually as Cold as MontanaEqually as Cold as Montana

Record breaking Florida cold with a wind blowing off the ocean --I never felt that cold before!
the United States in 1821. The French tried in there somewhere, but failed.

And don't forget Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth that for $9 too you can see. When we rolled into town and saw the gagginess surrounding Ponce de Leon's landing place I was no longer interested in St. Augustine. It totally soured me on the place--but the Castillo (fort) was so well done and the old town so wonderful, I repented and fell in love.

NOTE: When Ponce de Leon landed, he declared ALL of North America for SPAIN, and Bob says, had that worked out, we wouldn't have to go to Uruguay for Spanish classes. We'd be espanol-y-ing up a storm.

So you see, the place is full of history and charm and wonderful wacky funky fun. And we actually saw so little of it. It was so blasted cold with the wind whipping across the bay and temps down to record lows, we saw the fort and retreated to a nice warm gift shop.

You can see why I have to go back.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Plaza de Armas with Ramp to GundeckPlaza de Armas with Ramp to Gundeck
Plaza de Armas with Ramp to Gundeck

This stairway used to be a ramp so they could drag the cannons up to the gundeck. Later they built the staircase for us tourists.
Bob Finds a Soft Perch on the GundeckBob Finds a Soft Perch on the Gundeck
Bob Finds a Soft Perch on the Gundeck

Closest reinforcements were in Cuba. With no way to communicate while under siege, a lack of contact over a long period of time would cause the Spanish military to investigate.
Twisted ReflectionsTwisted Reflections
Twisted Reflections

No one lived in the fort. Soldiers were garrisoned in town with their families, working shifts inside the fort on rotating duty. Guard rooms were used for storage.
Dry Moat for Animals During SiegeDry Moat for Animals During Siege
Dry Moat for Animals During Siege

When attacked by land, townspeople fled to the fort, bringing their domestic animals with them, which were kept in this dry moat. If needed, the moat could be filled with seawater by opening flood gates on the seawall. The bastions' thick walls were filled with rubble and sand to reinforce them for the immense weight of the cannons.
Diamond Shaped Bastions Protected FortDiamond Shaped Bastions Protected Fort
Diamond Shaped Bastions Protected Fort

The fort is made of locally quarried rock called Coquina, brought here from nearby Anastasia Island. The coquina walls "swallowed" the cannon balls, causing little damage.

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