I travel quite a lot. I visited great places, enjoyed fantastic hospitality and discovered urban and natural wonders. However, it happens seldom that my expectations are that much exceeded as it happened in Miami. Warm, blue water bordered by white sands and surrounded by an ocean breeze – these are the endless beaches in Miami. I visited Miami for only a couple of days at beginning of January. The palm-shaded jogging path is highly frequented by runners and walkers and, believe or not, many of them greet each other. South Beach is simply energizing and you could be just sitting there and watching what is all happening around and spending days like that.
What I underestimated was how much more one could see there and honestly I booked my stay for too short. So if you plan to go there, do not forget to visit the Vizcaya museum completed in 1916 as a winter retreat for James Deering. The 10 acres of formal gardens along Biscayne Bay are filled with fountains, sculptures and balustrades (http://www.vizcayamuseum.org/). You should not miss neither the illuminated skyscrapers at night in Downtown Miami. You can ride a free elevated Metromover through downtown and hit nearby Bayside marketplace for shopping. For these who are looking for something more special, what about Miami Seaqurium and Dolphin Harbor? You will not only see orcas, sealions, sharks, manatees and sea turtles but in the Dolphin Harbor you can get wetsuits and learn about and take a swim with magical mammals (http://www.miamiseaquarium.com/).
And in case you are looking for something even more than extraordinary, then you should visit Coral Castle built entirely out of corals. This Coral Castle was according to the legend built out of 1100 tons of corals with no more than simple hand tools by a single man, the Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin. The legend says that he spent his nights from 1923 onward building the castle. The castle was opened for the public in 1940. The legend further says that Leedskalnin built the castle because of broken heart. Agnes Scuffs cancelled their wedding the day before they were to exchange vows. He invited her to visit the castle but she never accepted. Leedkalnin never married and died 1953. In 1986, Billy Idol wrote the song Sweet Sixteen – the nickname Leedskalnin used for Scuff. Reading this story I thought WOW this can compete with Romeo and Julia romance and instead of a small balcony in Verona you can see main castle, tables and chairs, informational signs and elaborate landscaping. Impressive power of love but imagine if she would have married him. In such a case there might be not a castle. Does unfilled love have more power? What do you think?
If this is all not adventure enough, think about going on a swamp safari. You can watch alligator wrestling, get a picture with an alligator and have an exciting ride on everglades airboats. http://www.billieswamp.com/ or http://www.gatorpark.com/
Jetlag woke me no later than at 3 am every night. I did a little bit of gymnastics on my balcony on the 14th floor, answered my mails and went for swimming. As the weather was quite windy and it looked like that storm was close I decided against swimming in ocean. The outside hotel swimming pool provided more security. I was swimming and enjoying myself. It was close to half past four am when I realized a really big man standing beside the pool talking to me. I did not understand a word. It was the hotel security and he was asking me to leave the swimming pool as it was actually closed. Rules are rules and especially in the USA it does not make sense to argue as it never helps. He suggested to me that I can come at 6 am when the swimming pool will be opened.
The best however is that similar to New York Miami is 24/7. So, if you have painful jetlag as I had during the whole stay as I arrived directly from Asia, it does not matter. You can sleep whenever your body asks you for that and enjoy all the unbelievably things Miami can offer whenever you wake up. There is always something to do and see.
I really would love to come back and spend more time!!!
Bildquelle: Hans-Dieter Buchmann / pixelio.de