Today, I decided to see a few sights in St Augustine. Dave actually likes to do some projects where he doesn’t have to worry about me trying to move about the boat.
First, lunch at the Mill Top Tavern across the road from the fort that I was going to tour. Great outdoor atmosphere with a guy playing songs I recognized :)
|view of the fort from the restaurant
Then off to the Castillo de San Marcos. It was built between 1672 and 1695. It has flown the flags of Spain, Britain, Spain again, then the US. The fort was never taken by force, only military agreements or political treaties. The walls were made of coquina, a type of shell stone indigenous to the area. It absorbed the cannonball blasts rather than crumble. It’s amazing how much of it is still standing today. On the weekends, they have cannon blast demonstrations. I watched it from outside and below the wall and then again inside. I was here with Dave and my parents in 1980, but I don’t remember any of the interior. Probably just walked around the exterior. My mom wouldn’t have paid for sour cream if it was extra :)
|View of Bridge of Lions from the fort. Our boat is on the other side of the bridge
|moat and walls
Today was the 425th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake’s British raid on St Augustine. There is a reenactment of the raid. There were military camps set up near Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. Then at 7:00pm at the City Gates there was a sacking and burning of the town. Then Drake’s forces drove the Spanish from the streets (where we were waiting on St George St), then everyone followed them to a plaza where there was a battle. Lots of shooting of historic guns.
After Drake’s men looted and burned the town, the Spanish Colonists returned and rebuilt the city. So this is the oldest continuously occupied city in the US, since 1565.
After the demo, we had ice cream (doesn’t keep in our freezer) and returned to the boat.
|Spaniard being driven from the streets