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Key West - southern most point of the USA

Early start at 6am in the dark for Key West - bus left just around the corner from my hostel. It was a big coach and I had 2 seats all the way there and back which was nice. Miami is right beside the Everglades so we drove by that for awhile

We stopped off not far out of Miami for a 20 minute breakfast stop at McDonalds and then we kept heading south over long bridges over expanse of water crossing over small islands. The 7 mile bridge is the longest bridge. Licensed to Kill and Fast and Furious were filmed here. It was an overcast day which was a shame.

The Florida Keys is made up of 43 small islands with Key West being the most southern most point of the USA and the longest island at 33 miles and 7000 inhabitants. Most of the islands are mangroves. White tailed deer swim from island to island and live on Big Pine Island so low speed limits tare in place to protect them.

Beside the road and bridges is the old unfinished railway line built 1912 by Henry Flagler. Started work at 14 years old and died age 83. Was one of the richest men in the USA

While on the bus I bought the trolley tour for $25 to see over Key West. We arrived in Key West at 12.30pm . The bus dropped us off at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum and will be back for us at 6.30pm . She said don't be late as the only way back to Miami is by taxi and it costs $600!

The over cast day turned into light drizzly rain for most of the afternoon. I wandered around the shops of Mallory Square to the pier where on the Gulf of Mexico a big cruise ship was in for the day. I bought some conch fritters for lunch. Being the local food I had to try them. They were nice but wouldn’t buy again. There were some lovely old maritime building from the early 1800’s.

I jumped on a trolley bus for the 1 ¼ hour round island trip. The buildings of old town are beautiful and houses are from the 1830’s.

The houses have big storm shutters that can be pulled down when there is a hurricane. Leaving old town the rest of the island was man made and they filled in the shallow water. It has always been an important naval abase from fighting piracy in the 1880s, from belonging to the union ( the north) during the civil way, both world wars and the Cuban missile crises in 1962. Cuba is just 90 miles away. There are still standing several old stone forts.

The southern most point of the USA in the Atlantic Ocean had people lined up even in the light rain to have a photo taken by the sign

People on the island were very wealthy making money from recovering goods from the ship wrecks. One man built a street full of houses and gave the employees a house each. The states first millionaire was from her eand built the railway and hotels.

I got off here and walked the last part back to the starting point past Ernest Hemingway's house next to the lighthouse and his local pub - Sloppy Joes

Duval Street runs north /south from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and is full of lovely old buildings, shops, art galleries and restaurants. A Walgreens is in the old Strand theatre decorated in the bright colours of the Cuban style.

I really wanted to have some key lime pie but sadly was not feeling too well. I ate a crab cake, rice and salad before boarding the bus back home at 6.30pm. We arrived back at South Beach at 10.30pm. Massive day but well worth it.

Passing over one of the small islands

Passing over one of the small islands


Little fishing villages

Little fishing villages


The long bridge

The long bridge


Keeps going

Keeps going


Islands

Islands


Cruise ship in Key West

Cruise ship in Key West


Huge dancing statues

Huge dancing statues


Key West

Key West


Marketplace

Marketplace


Megalodon jaws

Megalodon jaws


The famous conch fritters

The famous conch fritters


Lovely gardens

Lovely gardens


Ernest Hemingways Home

Ernest Hemingways Home


The southernmost point

The southernmost point


Cute houses

Cute houses


The lighthouse opposite Ernest Hemingway's home

The lighthouse opposite Ernest Hemingway's home


Key West

Key West


Ernest Hemingway sign and lush vegetation

Ernest Hemingway sign and lush vegetation


Cute house

Cute house


Duval street

Duval street


Laneways

Laneways


The old Stand theatre is now a Walgreens

The old Stand theatre is now a Walgreens


Another famous local home

Another famous local home


Maritime buildings

Maritime buildings


Old Stone buildings

Old Stone buildings


Maritime

Maritime


Dancing statues

Dancing statues


The longest Bridge to Key West

The longest Bridge to Key West

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in USA

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