Saturday, May 21, 2016

Old San Juan

As the hostage situation drags on and on, we continue to invent boat chores, but also find time to be tourists here in Puerto Rico. Yesterday we visited Old San Juan, which was settled almost 500 years ago.
The premier tourist destination is Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the fort on the point of land guarding the entrance to the harbor. (If we ever get back in the water, we will sail past it on our way into San Juan.)
The views are stunning from the fort, and one can see for miles in all directions; exactly what the Spanish had in mind when they chose this site for the fort.

San Juan is also called La Ciudad Amurallada, the Walled City, and we wandered along the base of the walls for at least a mile taking in the sights.
We turned inside at San Juan Gate, the formal gate that was used for dignitaries. This photo reminded me so much of the one I took at the Forbidden City in Beijing. Click here:

and tell me if you agree.

In many ways San Juan reminded us of Cartagena; settled by the Spanish in the 1500s, an important fort and center of Spanish culture in the Caribbean, exactly the same style of fortifications, loaded with art and history, and a popular tourist destination. We loved Cartagena, but San Juan is more laid back because there are no hawkers trying to sell you stuff.

The city is full of regular citizens walking their dogs, flying kites, socializing, and going out to eat and drink. The food here was okay, but I still dream of the food in Cartagena and would visit there again in a heartbeat just for the great food.

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