Spicyland in San JuanPosted: February 20, 2014
It was a beautiful sky as we approached San Juan Thursday morning.
Actually kind of overcast for a while – I [incorrectly] assumed our day of walking about town would be one under the clouds.
Oh no – it turned out to be a sunny and toasty-HOT afternoon.
Our cruise three years ago left from San Juan, but we stayed on the other side of town AND my suitcase was misplaced on its way from Minneapolis to Miami to San Juan. So the fun night in the city before boarding the ship the next day was completely stressful and frazzled and NOT FUN, with calls to the airline and tracking what we could online. Oh, and I had no clean clothes. 😦 Anyway. Here’s round two!
(And, just for clarity….there are no pictures of me here because, well….my husband does not take pictures of me. So, you know. I know. We’re working on it 🙂 )
From the port, it was a less-than-10-minute walk to Castillo San Cristobal, the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World (not the fort you saw in the photos above – that is Castillo San Felipe del Morro, or El Morro).
Construction began in 1634 (1634!) and finished in 1790. While El Morro was built to protect the city from attacks by sea, San Cristobal’s 27 acres defended against attacks by land.
For a $3 entrance fee, we more than got our money’s worth on this visit.
You guys, this place was pretty amazing. So old and such rich history, with tunnels, lookout posts, cannons, moats, uh….a dungeon!
The idea of a dungeon just seems so….primitive and archaic. It’s crazy to imagine people were actually held here.
Back into the light! We found our way out of the tunnels and explored San Cristobal’s sprawling grounds. As you’ll soon see, the views are absolutely spectacular.
Wowee. DT and I spent about two hours at San Cristobal and could have easily spent another two. If you find yourself in San Juan, definitely make time to see one or both of these old forts! The history lesson and incredible views are so well worth it.
We wove our way into and around Old San Juan on our way back to the ship. Such a pretty part of the city – narrow, cobblestone streets and bright, colorful buildings.
I just love those wrought iron balconies….especially with little pops of flowers! So European.
This street made us think of Charleston or Savannah:
So did this.
It was such a great day in San Juan, I’m so happy we could explore this port. I’ll count on a return visit someday!
Coming up….last, but certainly not least, our day in Grand Turk. Sad! The cruise is almost ending! 😦