Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is not the sort of place one would usually expect to encounter DonQui. Yet he had a very enjoyable week there despite the vagaries of a particularly severe hurricane season. September-October is not the best time to visit Florida but DonQui had his reasons, arriving after Hurricane Irma and dodging Hurricane Maria.
The east coast of Florida managed to escape the worst of Hurricane Irma although cleaning-up operations were still going on. Piles of palm tree branches clogged the smaller streets awaiting clear-up and crews were still busy taking the sand from the roads and spreading it back on the beaches.
Like so many North American cities, Fort Lauderdale has been concreted over to make way for the ubiquitous automobile. Wide roads and spaghetti junctions carve up the city leaving very little charm.
Even the much touted Las Olas Boulevard feels like it is struggling to hold its own against the encroaching office blocks.
The little strip along the beach at the eastern end of Las Olas does make for a good stroll with many bars and restaurants offering a lively atmosphere along with mediocre live music.
The beach itself is quite wonderful with easy public access despite the many high rise hotels which line the front. During the week the beaches are almost deserted…
… yet on weekends and holidays they rapidly fill up.
It is the water which makes Fort Lauderdale so much more than a concrete jungle. In addition to the beautiful beaches there are many canals which are best appreciated if you can take a boat — even if it is just one of the water taxis.
Only a 30 minute drive to the west, the everglades begin and an airboat excursion there is very well worth it as DonQui has previously described.