Where America Begins: A View From Zero Kilometers - ForumDaily
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Where America Begins: A View From Zero Kilometer

The queue to the huge buoy, symbolizing the countdown of American kilometers, does not stop either day or deep at night. Touch, lean, take a photo and think about what kind of energy flies in the air of the kilometer zero of the United States. What does it taste like this piece of paradise under the Caribbean sun, where all the 50 states originate?

The buoy information reads: 90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point Continental USA. This is the southernmost point of the United States, closer than to the legendary Miami. It is true that the Cubans sailed here on boats, and even by swimming - these are not legends. But they were not the ones who discovered these places. The Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon moored his ship off these shores on May 13, 1513 and discovered bones on the entire surface of the island, inherited from the Calusa Indian tribe, who once lived here.

One of the longest and most beautiful highways in the world, the Overseas Highway, runs to the zero kilometer of America, which is 113 miles or 180 kilometers long. It connects the islands of the Florida Keys archipelago into a single chain. A highway was erected on the site of an old railway built in 1912 by millionaire Henry Morrison Flagler.

The project was truly unique, given that most of the rails were laid above the water. Henry Morrison spent 50 millions of dollars on it and served exactly 23 of the year until 1935 was destroyed by a hurricane on his labor day.

Key West Island, on which America's zero kilometer is located, got its current name later. Initially, it bore the name "Cayo Hueso", which means "small island" in Spanish. Hence the new name was transformed, and not from the English word "key" - key, as it might seem at first glance.

Between the old and the new name, there is an era of growth and development of the island in 300 years. During this time, pirates, fishermen, writers, artists, owners of factories, steamers, turtle hunters and marauders - seekers of sunken ships with treasures, of which there were many, lived here. If pirates and hunters have sunk into oblivion, then fishermen and turtles have not left the island until now.

The former even hold fishing championships here and they successfully catch sharks and other very large animals from embankments; the second nest on the beaches of Key West and lay eggs, which are carefully guarded by local animal protection services.

Kilometer zero is located in the old part of the island - in Old Town, from where the most famous street of the island Duval street begins, where all kinds of hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, bars and shops are located. The street is noisy, colorful, cheerful and does not subside even at night.

For this atmosphere, tourists come here from all over America and other countries. Many ahead of time specially book rooms with balconies on Duval street, so that in the morning and in the evening, while drinking tropical cocktails or Cuban coffee, which is especially popular here, enjoy views of the ever-walking street.

All the buildings on Duval street, as if for a carbon copy are similar to each other. In general, and the whole town is built up in the same style. It is called here karibbean island style. Its roots go back to the very beginning of America and even earlier. Therefore, local authorities are trying to preserve the history and do not allow even slightly tint old houses built in the 18 century without the relevant documents.

Photos from personal archive

The local authorities are trying to preserve the history and do not allow even slightly tint the old houses built in the 18 century without relevant documents. Photos from the personal archive

The island of Key West is relatively small - only 3,2 by 6,4 kilometers. As the Americans themselves jokingly emphasize, the only place in the US where the temperature has never dropped below 0. The island is surrounded by the beautiful waters of Florida, white sand beaches, marinas and bridges. You can go around Key West by car, scooter or bicycle - the latter transport, along with mustang convertibles, is especially in demand here.

Accompany the sunset sun, which is poured daily into the most colorful shades that exist, gather at Mellory Square, where street performers show their performances. An entertaining sight. Some of them even took part in various American talk shows on finding talent.

Sunset can be viewed from almost any part of the island. Everywhere views. It also happens that the sun throws all 360 degrees, painting the sky pink, orange and purple.

Key West is a very private place. Once it was a developed town where people came to establish business, when Miami was still a small village. Celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost lived here, John James Odabon and Tennessee Williams worked, President Harry Truman called the island her little White House.

See also:

Miami: a paradise for the rich and fun lovers

25 best beaches in Chicago. A PHOTO

What tourists usually take pictures in San Francisco, and what it takes to shoot instead

The story of the legendary Brooklyn Bridge. A PHOTO

14 places every Native New Yorker must visit


tourism Travel loudspeakers personal experience life in the USA nature of America
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