Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bulow Sugar Mill Ruins and Garden/ Ft Motanzas/ Atlantic Ocean

You can see and walk into the indentations where the boat would have landed.
Rog out in it
This is the Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.  It was once a beautiful plantation.  Growing sugar cane, cotton, and indigo.  In 1937 it was the winter home of the Youngs, the founder of RCA and in 1964 the wife gave the place to the state. 
The live oak trees are very tall and the spread is unreal.
Notice the plants growing on the branches.  They say that they are air plants and do not harm the trees.
So beautiful
This is coquina.  It is a type of sedimentary rock made of sea shells and lime stone.  It is found mainly on the east coast of Florida and small quarries in other parts of the world.  The Bok Tower, in central Florida that we went to and blogged, Fort Matanzas, and Castillo de San Marcos at St Augustine are made of this rock.  Interesting thing about the rock is that it is quite soft. After  being quarried it had to dry  out for a couple of years before using.  It was good for building forts because the  rock was so soft that the cannon ball would sink into, rather than shatter or puncture the walls of the fort. 
the fort is across the river and National Parks have a ferry that takes you there.  The fort is very well preserved and interesting.
Fort Matanzas was one of a chain of forts mainly used as a type of radar.  The men would watch on the top level of the fort for incoming ships.  They could see 80 miles most days. which would give the fighting force a good 12 hours to prepare for the battle.  Just beyond the bridge is the Atlantic Ocean where the ships would be entering.  This fort would be able to tell the next fort that someone was coming.  What a view they had the next pic is inland and it is so green and nice.
We had a great day.  There is so much to tell and show you, but I can only tell you to come to Florida it is great.  We are planning on going to see the town of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the kingdom.  We also want to head back down to Daytona Beach and drive on the beach where the NASCAR races started here.  They let you drive on the beach, that will be fun. 
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