Miami Beach, Florida
I was so excited about Miami and its famous Ocean Drive. For years, I've heard a lot of stories about how colorful and crowded it is. I mean, if you ask a group of people who has heard of South Beach, everybody would raise their hands, right? And yes, South Beach is fun and colorful and Miami Beach has so much to offer. After I had hung out a full day in a hammock at the pool (which was extremely awesome), I decided to rent a bike and explore more than my little paradise that was called The National Hotel.
It seemed to me that Ocean Drive is really the heart of Miami Beach which beats fast day and night. A lot of clubs, bars and restaurants and not so many shops other than souvenir shops. I had dinner in one of the restaurants and talked to a few people who joined me for a few minutes. First a woman, who was a little bit weird and told me literally ten times that I look like an author. Second a man, who told me that he could get me on the guest list of one of the coolest night clubs in Miami. I can't remember the name of the club, but I declined with thanks anyway.
Miami Pier & Fisher Island
I rode the bike up to the pier where the view to Fisher Island is very good. While I was taking some photos a guy stopped by and asked if he should take some photos of me which I really appreciated. We started to talk and he told me that he was born in Portugal and came to the USA with his family many years ago. He is now a Real Estate manager and told me that everyone who wants to visit Fisher Island needs to get an invitation from one of the residents. It is one of the last real private islands. Since I didn't know any of the people who live there, I had to stay on the other side and be satisfied with the view.
The Espangola Way
The historical Spanish/Cuba part of Miami Beach is not far away from Ocean Drive and still in South Beach. Of course I really liked the pink houses you can see in the photographs. The area is very good for dining if you like hispanic food. And mostly everyone speaks Spanish which was the reason that I hardly understood anybody. Unfortunately I don't speak Spanish.
Much more calm and relaxed than South Beach is the other side of Miami Beach. In North Beach are fewer people and tourists. It is more a place for when you definitely want to escape and have some peace and quiet. Even some shops were closed at the weekend and there were only a few people on the streets. I liked South Beach more and would recommend staying there on holiday.
I stopped between South and North Beach at the Biscayne Bay and enjoyed a beautiful view of the part of Miami where Gloria Estefan and Usher live. The palm trees and the Hispanic inspired big houses look like they were arranged for a movie or theatre performance. Perfection!
But after all, don't spend as much time as possible on the beach :-)