Thursday, September 17, 2009

Florida Keys Day 4, Part 3 | Key West from up high

This image looks north-northwest toward the port, where Disney's Magic was docked. The large shadow, of course, is of the lighthouse.

On the Sunday morning during my vacation, I put my name on the list for a Key West restaurant where breakfast is a popular item. Being told I would wait for more than an hour, though, I roamed around the downtown area, trying to get a different angle on things from what I got the day before.

That's when I saw the lighthouse. Perfect.

Of course, the cost for the privilege to ascend the winding, 88-step staircase was steep. It ran me $10. But that beat the $12 fee at the nearby Hemingway House, where I had already deemed that the sights would not be worth it. Built in 1847, the 86-foot lighthouse afforded 360-degree views of the island.

Click on photo above to see panorama in full resolution. This panoramic image, stitched from 12 photos taken without a tripod, looks toward the southernmost point in the United States.

This was not taken from the lighthouse but at Smathers Beach the day before, when Disney's Magic cruise ship docked in Key West, dropping off even more Labor Day weekend tourists. The top of the ship is featured in the first image of this post.

One way tourists tour Key West is on these street-legal locomotives. I might have done this if I had a child.

There was a steady stream of traffic to the top of the lighthouse, but it was nothing overwhelming. With a narrow passageway around the lamp, large crowds would be difficult to handle.

I held my camera above my head, up into the lamp for a shot.

On the way back down, I stopped to take a shot through one of the many circular windows in the side of the lighthouse.

The top of the lighthouse peeks out from a low canopy.

Back at the restaurant, Blue Heaven, I had missed my spot when the hostess called my named and I wasn't present. It took only another 10 minutes for me to be seated, though. These are chairs in front of a small outdoor stage, where people could wait to be seated and listen to hippie music.

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