Monday, March 02, 2009

Key West Lighthouse

On our first full day in Key West we decided to ascend the lighthouse. Like many structures in Key West this is the second-generation lighthouse which was built in 1849 after a hurricane destroyed the original 1825 built tower in 1846.

The lighthouse keepers clapboard cottage, built in 1887 now houses a small museum of lighthouse memorablia

Having paid the entrance fee to ascend the lighthouse (while in the keepers cottage) we then walked through to the actual lighthouse building and discovered the narrow, steep, winding open-tread spiral staircase leading to the top. The stairs were too narrow to easily pass someone on so you had to try and time your ascent/descent without meeting someone halfway. Much as we didn't like the prospect we were determined to get our $10 worth of visit, so up those stairs we went......

The view from the top is actually pretty good. Of course the lighthouse isn't really that high, just under 90' but it's in a town where there's virtually nothing over two storeys so you still get the impression of being able to see the whole town.

This view is West, along Whitehead Street towards Mallory Square and the marina. You can see the Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship still docked.

Views North West - you can appreciate the vast amount of greenery in the town

The view East. Here you can see the 'house of garbage' in the foreground

Looking down on the Ernest Hemingway house which is across the street from the lighthouse.

Views South East towards the ocean

You're even closer to the airplanes as they come into land when you're up the lighthouse

Plane coming in over the town

David at the top of the lighthouse.

Now we had to try and pluck up the courage to walk DOWN those stairs - tip to anyone thinking of trying who's not good with heights - the down is worse than the up !

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