Tuesday, September 21, 2010

San Juan Puerto Rico

The day after the wedding we cruised into San Juan, Puerto Rico. We docked in Old Town. I had heard that the newer parts of San Juan were just like every other city so I am glad we saw Old San Juan. Being a history buff, just can't get enough of it, I wanted to go to the fort on the coastal edge of the city. Fortunately it was just about a two block walk from our dock. We first went to San Cristobal. It is an absolutely beautiful old fort. My favorite part of the fort were the sentry boxes or garitas. These basically hang off the side of the fort and were used for watching the Caribbean for whatever invader might be approaching. The views were indescribable and the coastline with the water splashing in were breathtaking. In one picture you can see down the coast. At the end of the island there was another part of the fort, and it had a lighthouse. This was called El Morro. I really did not think we would get to that section because it looked so far away. We only had about five hours for sightseeing. Low and behold they have FREE trolleys that will take you around the city. We grabbed a trolley and it took us directly to El Morro. This fort was very much the same as San Cristobal. Both took over ten generations and 250 years to build beginning in 1539. You can see from each fortification the wall that was built to surround San Juan for protection from invading countries who wanted the wealth, gold, silver, gems and spices of Puerto Rico. From the one garita you can see a small island in the distance. We learned that years ago there was a leper colony there. Jane Ellen and I walked up to the top of the lighthouse. It was very windy but you could see for miles and miles. One thing I loved about Old San Juan were the city streets. Now I would not want to drive them every day but they were interesting. The streets are basically only two cars wide and our trolly driver wrangled that trolley like it was a Cooper. One time as we came around a corner I do not know how he kept from hitting a car. He acted like it was nothing. He then deposited us right in front of our dock. As we were walking back to the ship there were samples of, wait for it....margaritas. Hmm...of course we had to sample. One was made with tequila the other with rum and some banana flavor. Ok, yeah that was my favorite. I made JE take a picture of me sampling it to show Matthew that I had tried it. Ok, I had more than one sample. I think I was beginning to understand why Captain Jack Sparrow got upset when Elizabeth poured out the rum while they were stranded on the deserted island. All in all it was a very fun day just not long enough. I would love to go back and see more of San Juan.

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