Tuesday, April 27, 2010

San Juan, Part 2

After we visited the Castillo San Felipe del Murro, we worked our back to our hotel (the Hilton Caribe). We found this hand-carved totem pole in the appropriately named Plaza del Totem.
The streets in San Juan reminded us of St. Peter's Square in Rome~both paved with gray bricks. In Rome, legend holds that each brick represents a soul saved by St. Peter. I'm not sure if the bricks hold any significance in San Juan, but they sure add character to the street. They are a bit tough to walk on, though!
Next we ventured into the Cathedral of San Juan Batista. We asked for, and were granted, permission to take photographs. It was hard to get good photos with the limited lighting, but these will give you a sense of its beauty.
We're not sure what this is. We think it's some type of park. It just sort of appeared between two houses as we walked along a street. It really seemed out of sorts there, yet pretty at the same time.
This is the governor's mansion. We had hoped to go inside, but as you can see, it was locked up tightly.
We wanted to try some local food for lunch. We found a great little streetside cafe. Although it offered mostly traditional Mexican dishes, it also had some local treats and a locally brewed beer. Every morsel was delicious!
The downtown area of San Juan reminded us of the North End of Boston: businesses on the ground level with apartments above them. Here was the upward view from our table.
As we ate, we noticed this chapel at the end of the street. It, too, was locked.
As we took photos of the chapel, we heard quite a ruckus next to us. Beneath a beautiful tree, there sat a very old woman feeding bread crumbs to pigeons. Not just a few pigeons~loads of pigeons! This also reminded us of Rome. We photographed an old man in St. Peter's square doing the same thing. The woman turned away when I tried to photograph her, so I just took photos of the pigeons.
I'm not sure what this is. We found it at a park overlooking the city. We like it's old, rustic look.
My favorite buildings were the houses we found as we walked. They were painted such beautiful colors!
We came across a local artist painting small ceramic replicas of the neighborhood buildings. I just had to bring one home with me!
What would our trip to San Juan be without going to The Hard Rock Cafe? Our son, Keaton, likes rock music. We have brought him shirts from Hard Rock Cafes around the world: Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Hawaii, Rome, and China. So of course we had to get him one from San Juan. The shirts are unique to each city, but the restaurants pretty much look the same everywhere.
Finally, at the end of a long but fun day, we boarded the ship. These are my try at "artsy" photos (taken from our cabin balcony) as we left San Juan.
There was so much more to see and do than we could possibly accomplish in one day. The sights were beautiful, the food was delcicious, and the people were quite friendly. We definitely want to go back!

I'll be back tomorrow with photos from St. Thomas. Have a fabulous day!


arlene said...

Isn't is amazing how quaint San Juan is? There are so many beautiful sights to see and things to do.

Hopefully you also had time to cruise thru Old San Juan too.

Rose Straughn said...

I enjoyed your pictures of Old San Juan since I was just there. A book I bought says that the totem pole is made of shards of pottery that were dug up when they were constructing the plaza.