Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Old San Juan

Well, we’ve been back a week now, but this is the first time I have had to sit down and write something. We spent a week in Puerto Rico and it was fantastic. The weather was perfect, we got over the winter blues, and explored as much as we could.

The trip started with an awesome automated call from American Airlines at 6am telling us that our flight was cancelled and that we’d been rebooked for the following day. No weather problems in DC, but the best we could figure out was that our plane was stuck in Boston or New York…or maybe American Airlines really just does stink. The best part was that they rebooked us on a flight that went from DC to Boston and then to San Juan. The problem being that Boston was storm central. Luckily after 45 minutes of hold music I found a great lady that helped us transfer to a direct flight from Dulles (the other DC airport) the next morning. Even though that airport is not near as convenient, we decided it was worth the 40 bucks for the shuttle out there.

So finally we made it, and first enjoyed Old San Juan. Don’t you love the feeling when you’ve been in a really cold place, and you get off the plane in a warm place, and the burst of warmth/humidity that hits you when step off the plane onto the jet-way.

Old San Juan was amazing. A really cool Spanish Colonial town dating back to the 1500s. It felt like we were in Europe with the beauty cobblestone streets, then the Caribbean flare of bright multicolored buildings. We just walked around the city and soaked it in, and explored El Morro and San Juan Cristobal – two old fortresses that protected the island for many years and was even refortified and used in WWII. It was amazing to read the history and see the history in the walls of these fortresses and in the buildings throughout Old San Juan.

Below are some of my favorite shots. Sorry, there’s kind of a lot, but I can’t narrow them down. Too cool of a place.

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This is La Iglesia de San Jose in the middle of old San Juan. Built in the 1500’s. We happened to be there right as couple was getting married.

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The interior of one of these old buldings (the facade still looked great, there was a whole in the door that we poked our heads through and saw this. Looks like they’ve been waiting a while for the big remodel).

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The path that leads around the outer wall of the city and El Morro.

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El Morro for the front.

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The cemetery attached to El Morro.

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I could have spent the entire day just taking pictures of the cobblestone and the doors.

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Finally Fuerte de San Cristobal. Another beautiful fort with so much cool history. This person did a great job of actually getting the fort behind us in the picture.

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The view from the top of the fort with modern San Juan in the background.

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We finished the night walking the then dark and quiet streets and found an awesome little hole in the wall, family run establishment for some awesome Puerto Rican food. Stay tuned for the next installment of the trip as we headed to Vieques and Culebra (two little islands off the East Coast of Puerto Rico).


Eyrealm said...

Wow COOL place! And so much cleaner that India! I'm thinking it was a good idea to send Eli to London for study abroad. It really spoke to his creative, artistic side which indirectly accounts for these great pictures!

shawni said...

wow cool eli and jules. can i come next time?

and for the record, mom, it's still totally unfair that eli went to london and jerusalem.

but seriously, your pictures are absolutely amazing!!

love you both
by the way this is charity on shawni's computer.

Eyrealm said...

simply a wonderful couple.
I choke up a little looking at how good you look together and love your sense of adventure,
and yes, Julie is the cutest of all nurses.