Key West Florida

Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
Trip End May 31, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I had a 36 hour stopover in Miami, Florida and I had planned to enjoy it in authentic American style by taking a road trip. I'd arranged in advance to rent a Chrysler convertible. If I was renting this car in Australia the term 'Luxury' would have been used, but this is America and fully optioned is fully standard. It had power everything including the seat and the roof, so all I had to do was retract the roof, set GPS coordinates, switch on the cruise control and I was cruising off over the Florida Keys to Key West. Key West is 207 km Southwest of Miami and is accessed by the Overseas Highway. This location was originally accessed by a railway which was constructed in 1912 but was destroyed by a hurricane in 1933. The line was rebuilt by the government in 1935 as a highway. The highway runs from the mainland to Key West connecting all of the main islands in the Florida Quays and is the longest overwater road in the world, with 42 bridges, including one 11 km span.

Key West itself has a relaxed feel about it. It's really touristy but what would you expect? I arrived just in time to join a snorkelling trip on a yacht. The snorkelling was ok, not a great deal of coral or fish to see but a beautiful way to spend the afternoon. The sails were raised and the engines did get switched off making it a true sailing experience and there was free beer on the return trip.

The local treat is Keylime Pies. It's like a lime flavoured cheese cake; they’re really good and are made using locally grown limes. I stayed the night in the Key West Youth Hostel which is great value and the following day returned to Miami Airport for my overnight flight to Madrid.
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