I have been kind of surprised at how difficult I have been finding it to fill the time in Fort Lauderdale. Today I had one thing in mind that I wanted to do and eventually added a second to the list after much research. I am slightly surprised at how little there is to do in the area, or maybe I am just looking in the wrong places.
Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop
The Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale is one of the places that I visited last time I was here for a day. That was a part of my Panama Canal Cruise in 2011. I was with friends and had only a small amount of time on that occasion so wanted to return and explore a little more.
But just getting to the Swap Shop turned out to be a bigger mission than I expected. I had put in the time to research the bus routes last night and had it all worked out. However, while I found the right bus stop I still had to wait over 20 minutes for the bus. Which then took around 40 minutes to get to the destination.
To be honest, even though I found the Swap Shop to be kind of interesting last time it did not capture me as much as time. I found there was a lot of table, luggage, perfume and electronics available. While some of this interested me most of it was not what I wanted to find. Plus there was a rather large area that seemed to be more of trash and treasure than anything else. I was able to pick up a couple of new ties and a cheap roller bag to help get onboard the ship.
Swap Shop Cars
One of the fun things to look at was the collection of high-performance cars. They included some different manufacturers including Ferrari, Mercedes, Corvette and Porsche. There are a couple of photos below, but there were also plenty of people around looking so was not able to get a lot of pictures. Two that caught my eye along with everyone else were the Ferrari F40 and Ferrari Enzo, which I could not get photos.
Fort Lauderdale Public Transport
The public transport system in Fort Lauderdale seems to be a big challenge for me today. Although I had the information for the bus stop and a general idea of the area from the maps. I still found that the reality did not match the information.
Where I believe the bus stop was supposed to be, there was nothing but a grass verge on the side of the road. I waited in the area for about 30 minutes without a single bus passing. So I decided to set off in the direction I knew my next stop was, which turned out to be a lot further than expected.
Eventually, I found a McDonalds with free wifi and was able to get myself back on track. I found another bus stop which soon had a bus arrive heading in the direction I wanted to go. But it seemed like a mission to figure this out in the end. I must say there is something I love about centralised cities with good public transport systems.
Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum
My original plan for the day was to visit the Ft. Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. However, I got started quite early, and it was still a couple of hours before they were to open. So I visited the Swap Shop first. Returning after lunch time and I was able to take a look around.
Personally, I am not a big car fan. While they will often catch my attention on the street, that is about the extent of my interest. But I am rather happy that I made this stop has it gave me some great insight into some very nice looking antique cars.
I think almost all the vehicles were from the same manufacturer, Packard. The cars on display ranged between 1900 and 1950, and all are still in running order. The majority of the cars have been fully restored and even two that are completely original still in running order.
I spent a couple of hours walking around the museum and reading about the different cars. I am sure for the right person with a keen interest in older cars could easily spend a full day if not more here.
Other Pieces On Display
There is a range of many other pieces on display in the museum. There is a collection of hood ornaments, gear nobs, and such. Along with an extensive collection of different cigarette lighter knobs, part of which is pictured below. The museum is worth a visit whether you like cars or you are just looking to fill in a little time.
I finished the afternoon collecting the last few things that I had in mind I needed on the cruise. There is bottled water, and a few other things that could be useful with eight days were at sea.
But this does leave me with a dilemma, just what do I over the next two days. I am sure that I will find something to fill the time even if it is researching for the weeks after the cruise in Europe. I have all the hotels and flights booked, but I would like to see if there are any interesting tours. It is something that I need to get done now before heading off on the cruise. Primarily due to lack of fast and free internet access while on the cruise. Once I am back in Europe it is going to be fast paced and minimal time for research and planning.