[EDIT: Thought I'd add a scan of a postcard I'd picked up at the Coral Castle of what the place looked like in the 1940's.]
Man, what a week. This two week trip to Seattle and then Fort Lauderdale is finally over! I mean Seattle was fun, no doubt, but this place. Ugh. All there is to do around here is to go to the beach. BO-ring. I'm sitting in the airport right now, very much looking forward to getting out of here... I just got here after spending my third morning in a row laying around the beach, swimming and collecting shells and whatnot. Ugh, who needs it?
There is one cool thing in the area though; The Coral Castle. It's south of here about an hour in the town of Homestead. Some wackjob named Edward Leedskalnin built it for his lost love. The Billy Idol song, Sweet Sixteen, is totally based on his story, and the video was shot there. The thing about the coral castle is that nobody saw him build it, and he built it by himself. It's one of those weird mystery kinds of things. Some people think he rediscovered the secrets of the Egyptian construction guys, although apparently it's not really a secret anymore how they built the pyramids. I can't verify that, it's just something I heard. I'd go into more detail, but you know, the wikipedia page on it that I linked to up there probably tells it better than I could. I'll just show you my pictures from my little day trip down there, how does that sound, dearie? [Granny voice]
This is Ed. And Ed's bed.
This is a nice overview of the Castle... as you can sort of see, it's not really a proper castle, more of a coral wall enclosing a courtyard filled with fanciful tables, chairs, and statues made of coral.
Ed's peni... I mean, obelisk.
Ed's repentance corner. Ed never married, but he built the castle in the hopes that one day he would, and this, repentance corner, is where he planned to punish his kid when he got out of hand. See the two slots in the wall? Notice the rounded hole at the top? The left slot was for his non-existent kid. He could stick the kid's head through the rounded hole and slide his head down, keeping it in place with a wooden board. Then the plan was for Ed to sit on the little stone bench to the right of the slots and lecture him for an hour. The slightly taller slot on the right was in case his wife "got sassy"... it's really no wonder he never got a mate.
Ed's 9-ton coral gate and well. He designed the gate so that a child could open it... apparently, for those who are into architecture, Ed was pretty ingenious.
Left to Right: The crown, the planets (Mars, Saturn, and um, two moons for some reason) which are over his throne. Ed believed in life on Mars. Despite his weird scary-ass desire to punish people that didn't yet exist, Ed was my kinda guy. And then the 9-ton gate again.
Ed's lizard. Colorful little dude, huh? There were a ton of these awesome looking little reptiles running around the place.
A 1959 movie, The Wild Women of Wongo, was filmed in the Coral Castle. I totally added this to my Netflix queue. It's about an island of beautiful women and ugly men who discover another nearby island of beautiful men and ugly women. I'm not really sure how it all turns out, but something tells me that the hotties are all going to get together and work it out in the end. Ah, Hollywood.
And of course, Billy Idol, ladies and gentlemen.