Posted by: mckenzie68 | June 27, 2010

St. Augustine, FL – a very cool place to visit … June 22 or Day 65

We packed up the bikes and headed off to I-95 on the way up to St Augustine.  We passed by Daytona, but were able to see the Daytona International Speedway.  That was cool, but we decided it was not worth stopping since there were no major events going on…perhaps another time.

Thankfully the ride to St Augustine was fast.  We pulled into St Augustine around 1230, and found a room.  Once we had cooled off in the pool, we set out to explore. We came across one of the many Visitors’ Centers which offered various tours of the town.  The town is really interesting, as it was an area where the Spanish landed in the 1500’s.  The place has been busy, historically speaking, ever since.  Anyway – at this particular Visitors Center, one of the tours being promoted was a combination of the Graveyard and the Old County Jail (built in 1891), which is supposedly haunted.  This jail was even featured on an episode of TAPS, which is a show that follows a group of guys who investigate (and attempt to validate) paranormal experiences at various supposedly haunted venues. We haven’t watched that episode yet, but will be in the future!  Now, we did end up passing on this tour, as it much later in the evening.

We continued on to walk along San Marco Dr to ‘old downtown’ St Augustine, which had a pedestrian only streets.  They were lined with amazing old houses and shops from the 1700s.  We also walked around old Fort Mose – which was pretty cool.  Some of the parapet was cement made up of mortar and sea shells.

As we walked in the humid heat, we came across a VERY old graveyard, with graves showing dates of the 1800’s and some markers that were completely erased by time and the elements.  The Visitor’s Center (there are quite a number in St. Augustine) adjacent to the graveyard had artifacts from the various historic time periods – one of the most interesting being a Spanish sword that had been recovered in a dive just off the coast.  Also interesting was the various clothing and personal items that were on display from people who had been part of St. Augustine’s rich history.

Once we had cooled off a bit, we found ourselves at the Jail (insert ghosty noises here) which was situated beside “Gator Bob’s”.  Gator Bob’s is like a little shop with some museum stuff connected to it – sort of in the style of the Ringling Brothers stuff.  The jail was the really interesting thing…we saw real gallows just outside of the jail as well as the stocks, gardens, etc.  Unfortunately it was later in the afternoon, so everything was closing down.  I can only imagine what being in that jail at night must be like!  LOL.

The one tour guy/guard was kind enough to call us a local shuttle (free service!) for the short 1 mile ride back to the hotel, which were were so grateful for.  We were so hot!  We retired to our room for the evening, and reveled in wonderful day we had.  St Augustine was definitely a place I would have liked to have spent more time at…and tomorrow…the Alligators.

Ray

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