Wednesday, December 19, 2007
The Oldest City
In case you haven't heard of it, St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously-occupied city in the United States. They even claim to have the oldest school in the USA, and boy does it look it! I graciously declined to pay the $3 entrance fee (grab your ankles) and see for myself if teaching methods had changed in 500 years. The Wife told me there was a cage under the stairs for misbehaving kids. I wonder where my daughter's elementary school has theirs?
I'm not a huge fan of Tourist Attractions and the shameless commercialization of such attractions. However, historic monuments and structures are very interesting to me. The Castillo de San Marcos was very cool. While looking somewhat unimpressive as we approached it, we soon learned about the fort's design and impressive track record. It was sieged at least 15 times, and never taken by force. Military strategy enthusiasts would enjoy the details in its design, such as an intentionally dry moat to protect the base of its outer walls, and the 5.5-ft landscaped hill infantry had to race up, only to be fired upon by defenders on higher ground. The stone looked to be a sedimentary concoction of seashells and sand, and was surprisingly resilient to cannon fire because it didn't shatter like solid rock would.
We walked around a bit, and realized that you could indeed spend a week in St. Augustine before exhausting the beautiful Spanish architecture and intriguing historic locations. It seems that we only travel to these locations when guests are in town, so thank you Anne and John!
Click here to view all the photos I took.