Our first stop in St. Augustine was to the newest visitors' center on the main drag where we learned they ran an Old Town Trolley that toured the --well--Old Town. We paid for a three day ticket and hopped the free shuttle over to the trolley depot near the Old Jail. There we were "incarcerated" for a brief while as a trustee showed us the ropes. But we got paroled.
|Terry with the Big Man. The "trustee" can be seen lounging on the porch in the rear.|
|Me with the Big Man.|
|Terry was taken by this old sewing machine in the sheriff's living quarters.|
|Old Town Trolley picks up and drops off at some 25 different locations. But these guys are out of luck.|
This is the oldest city in the US having been established back in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez but visited as early as 1513 when Ponce de Leon came in search of the Fountain of Youth and gold for the Spanish treasury.
|A partial reconstruction of the earliest palisades made with palm logs.|
|Restored city gates.|
|View of The Castillo de San Marcos (estb. 1672)|
|Statue of Flagler at the entrance to the college.|
|Ponce de Leon Hotel is now the core of the college.|
|More of the Ponce de Leon's magnificent architecture.|
|Carriages await fares.|
You could visit the first permanent home of Ripley's artifacts. (It's in one of the many former hotels that attempted to compete with Flagler's. There are a few that tried but failed because Flagler was both an astute businessman and a right old bastard. He controlled the railroad that came into town and the warehouses in Jacksonville that were to supply those rival hotels.)
Or, like we did on day two, you can visit the new St. Augustine Distillery and the Winery for a free tour and tasting at each. The former specializes in potables made from sugarcane, vodka, gin and rum. Their bourbon had not yet aged enough to be released to the public. Darn it! (We did purchase some vodka and rum, however.)
But that will have to wait for Part Three.