ICW 776 to 780

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Your first view of St. Augustine is this huge cross.  It's visible for miles to seaward.
The old fort "Castillo de San Marcos" overlooks the harbour.  You can take a tour of this preserved historical site.
Adjacent to the Fort is the downtown area.  The Spanish influence in the roads, parks and buildings permeates the entire city.
This, "The Bridge of Lions" is one of the oldest bascules in existence.  The motors which operate the lifts are still DC powered.
"The Bridge of Lions" as seen from shore.  It's quite a walk to the far side.
Within the Spanish quarter, even the newer buildings have been blended into the historic mosaic.  The large edifice is the Basilica Cathedral of St. Augustine.
Many of the older buildings have been refurbished.  This is the Government House Museum.
Sprawling over acres of land is the former Ponce de Leon Hotel established in 1887.
In the early 1960's the Hotel fell on hard times.  It was purchased and turned into Flagler College.
Much of the historic content was saved and today the buildings represent a time capsule of a nearly forgotten era.
Directly opposite Flagler College is the Lightner Museum.
Outside the statue of Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, 1519-1574, Governor, Captain General, Conquistador, still stands ever vigilant.
The grounds within the Lightner Museum are spectacular.
The court yard boasts a large pond complete with a Roman style bridge spanning the gardens.
Horse drawn carriages can be hired for a leisurely tour of the downtown.  Don't worry about the driver not paying attention, the horse is  a professional.
A walk around the downtown is a feast for the eyes.
Although the Spanish brought Catholicism, it is by no means the only religious influence.
Here we have the Memorial Presbyterian Church.
We stopped at this little leather shop to see if they could punch a few holes in the Captain's belt.  Yup - definitely losing some weight!
A walk along the sea wall affords a panoramic view of the north anchorage.
We were startled to see dolphins hunting fish in the anchorage, right beside the boats.  I guess dinner is dinner no matter where you get it.
The birds are really tame.  This little guy walked around and between our feet while we sat on a bench.
Apparently dolphins, seagulls and pelicans are allowed to fish. The pigeons are discriminated against, by city ordinance no less.