San Juan Gate
Old San Juan
remains partially enclosed by walls which were built 500 years ago to
protect San Juan harbor. San Juan Gate, the last remaining of
three gates of the old city wall, stands more than 16 feet tall.
Calle del Cristo
The streets of
Old San Juan are paved with adonquines, small blue-gray glazed
bricks cast from the residue of iron furnaces in Spain, and brought to the
Americas as ballast in the Spanish galleons. The Spanish used gold
and silver from the Americas as ballast on the trip home.
near the Castillo de San Cristóbal,
or St. Christopher Castle, the Plaza de Colón
commemorates Christopher Columbus who discovered Puerto Rico on his
second voyage in 1493.
The garita, or
sentry box, line the walls and forts of Old San Juan. The garita is
Puerto Rico's official symbol and appears on just about everything
(Write your own caption here)
Castillo de San Felipe del Morro
used to roll cannons up and down that ramp. Cannons on four of
the six levels of the fort made El Morro the heart of the San Juan
fortifications against attack from the sea. This picture is taken
from the Santa Barbara Battery (level 4) looking up at the main part of
the fort (level 6).
Castillo de San Cristóbal
27 acres, San Cristóbal
was built to protect San Juan from a land attack. It's
"Defense-in-depth" meant that each part of the fort was
supported by one or more other parts. If a fort has several
barriers, each higher and stronger than the one in front of it, then the
attacker can still be repulsed.
San Juan Marriott Resort
La Vista in the San Juan Marriott, we had two enjoyable dinners
complimented by the wonderful friendly service of our server, Armando.
We had the seafood buffet the first night we ate there, eating much
more snow crab than either of us should have, and the second night Denni
ate the Puerto Rican buffet while Jim had a nice steak.
Both nights, Armando was kind enough to answer our questions about
Puerto Rico, it’s food, it’s people and culture. The second night he
even introduced us to his wife and daughters who happen to be dining next
We found the Puerto Ricans to be very warm and friendly.
Dining in Old San Juan
first evening in San Juan, we decided to head over to Old San Juan to see
if some of the stores were still open.
While strolling the narrow streets, we were invited into Barrachina
to sample their Piña
They claim to be the place where the Piña
Colada was first mixed.
Well needless to say we had to try one, and indeed they were quite
After shopping some more, we decided to go back for dinner.
Jim played it safe with shrimp scampi, but Denni tried the Chicken
It was a delicious chicken in a rum-pineapple sauce with plantains
Caribbean National Forest
On a lark,
we took a trip to the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National
Park system. Hundreds of streams flow down the mountainside
forming countless waterfalls. The forest vegetation is thick
with animals and birds. While we didn't see many, we heard
their whistles and calls.