Monday, December 29, 2008

Historical Sites & Retail Haven

H and I are in St. Augustine to enjoy the historical sites.
We started off at the light station which has been turned into a museum. The big attraction is the 164' lighthouse. Climbing to the top is an adventure in itself for those of us who have a fear of falling. There are 219 narow metal mesh stairs that spiral to the top that are crowded with comers and goers. The view from the top is worth it. You can see for 20 miles.
After the lighthouse we went to the Castillo. It is the oldest mortar fort in the continental US. The walls are made from conquina which is a type of limestone formed from millions of tiny shells. The US park service provides a self-guided tour of the fort. We also saw them fire one of the small cannons. It only has a range of a mile and a half. The big cannons have a range of three miles.
After the fort we headed over to historic St. George street. Despite knowing better, I hoped that it would be a living museum set up showing the town as it was in the days of the Spaniards. It is a living museum, but not one that is frozen in time. The buildings have all been preserved and there are plenty of ways to get the history of the place, but there are no actors. Instead St. George street is a thriving commercial area. There are a lot of shops and eateries. Some are tourist traps, but most are nice. While the insane purist on me wants to keep the history free of shallow comercialism, the realist in me knows that sometimes the best way to preserve history is to allow it to change with the times.

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1 comment:

  1. If you are in the St. Marys area, hit up Up the Creek Xpeditions to browse our kayak gear.