Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fernandina Beach, FL

Fernandina Beach is a wonderful place. The very well preserved historic down town is just across the street from the marina. It is full of shops, restaurants, nice old buildings, homes and palm trees – very quaint. My first thought was that I had been here before and then I realized that it looks like old CA towns – it’s the Spanish influence of its past that shines through, just like in Burlingame south of San Francisco.

Known as the "Isle of 8 Flags", Fernandina Beach has had the flags of the following nations flown over it since 1562: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of FL, Mexico, the Confederate States of America and the United States. It is the only municipality in the United States that has flown eight different national flags.

This is a lovely place and well worth a visit. However, entering off the ICW you will pass a sprawling industrial complex spewing smoke all over the place. Then there is a second one, just as large on the other side of town. These two make Fernandina Beach look like Mad Max Town… The faint odor coming from these facilities isn’t exactly unpleasant, but it is pervasive. Paper and pulp are made here, and asked yesterday, our cocktail waitress said “you would be amazed to learn how many products contain pulp: hot chocolate, shampoo…”. Doesn’t that make you long for some processed foods?

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