Monday, October 19, 2015

Old Town San Juan and Castillo El Morro

We decided to go get lunch in Old San Juan, killing two birds with one stone if you will. I loved this area. My friend told me she knew a police officer stationed here, and suggested I never go here after dark, but in the daytime it was beautiful. I actually took many more pictures than these, because almost every building was lovely. The town reminded me a lot of Granada in Nicaragua, which I think is because both were built around the same period by the Spanish. Let me look it up. 
Yep. Early 1500's by the Spanish. Yay me!

Most of the buildings are beautifully preserved, built like townhouses connected to each other on either side of narrow, cobblestone streets. 
Look at this lacy ironwork! 
We drove around (and unintentionally saw most of the city) trying to find a parking space, and finally asked a couple of policemen for advice on where to park. Humiliatingly, they answered me in English. this happened over and over in PR. Everyone speaks both languages but it didn't keep me from trying to practice my Spanish over and over again.
We parked,and used our phone gps to walk/navigate to the seafood restaurant we'd picked out. I wanted to look in every cathedral we passed (and there were quite a few), but it was getting pretty late to eat.
This street scene will be my next watercolor project I think.
Here's the restaurant: La cueva del mar. Jeff said his fish tacos were the best he'd ever had. My Dorado in garlic sauce was ok, but not spectacular. So....partial recommendation.

We took the rest of the afternoon to walk around. 

This was an amazing shop: The butterfly people. I sneaked this picture before I went in through the open door, which was good because they didn't ALLOW pictures. I would put a link here to them, but that no pictures thing bugged. Bugged. heehee

I loved the bright colors. Why is that, when at home I worry my tan house looks a little too pink? Context, I suppose is key.

This house, in an advanced state of decay, was my favorite.

Bushes and trees growing out of the windows and roof. Puerto Rico flagged door. Wow.

Governer's palace I think?

We used the last of the sunlight touring  El Morro, the fort right at the edge of Old San Juan and the sea.
It was beautiful,ancient, and monstrous.
Cannon. I had a picture of Jeff sticking his hand in here, but it was too blurry. Too bad, because it was kind of hilarious. I don't know what he was looking for.

Up near the top, on the edge. Gratuitous iguana.
View back toward the city, overlooking the cemetery. I really wanted to visit this cemetary, but we ran out of time.
This lighthouse was added to the top of El Morro in the mid 1800's. and rebuilt in 1906. 

View of the coast from inside.
Tower up to the light.

We looked out over the bay to the sister fort on the other side, 
then I remembered I had a quarter for the telescope. The sun was going fast, so we started back to the entrance.
On the way we stopped in the polveron, where the gunpowder and cannonballs were stored. Extra thick walls here as you might imagine.
Hole into the wall showing just how thick.
It is hard to show the scale of this place. 
But we made our way up the last set of stairs, and out into the town.

We took this alley shortcut towards our car and its parking lot.

I decided to call it cat alley.

As many cats as you could shake a cat at? swing a cat and you'd hit a cat? Anyway a lot of cats.

Final view with bougainvillea and rigged ship. Lovely San Juan.


belann said...

Wow, I had no idea how beautiful it is there. Thanks for sharing; that is probably the closest I'll ever get to being there.

Meeshab said...

It looks amazing there! Your photography is on point!

Meeshab said...

It looks amazing there! Your photography is on point!

CowanTravels said...

I must go here! I absolutely love this type of architecture.