Monday, December 28, 2015

Sights of San Juan (Sunday)

We saw a few sights in San Juan on the food tour, then had the chance to explore on our own.

My favorite thing about Puerto Rico are the brightly colored buildings with white trim.  For instance:
(Justin's got the male model pose down pat.  Jason took forever to pick a pose, so I gave up on him.)

You can also see the slope of the city wall here.  That was to make the canon balls roll down when under attack.
One of the smallest apartments in the world - 5' x 30'.

I was so enamored with the buildings that I bought this artwork in a gallery later that day:

It's made from balsa wood cut and placed like scherenschnitte, one of my favorite art forms.

Some other sites from the city:

Good ol' Ponce de Lyon, made from a captured British cannon.

Weird mural

Flocks on a tiny church at the top of a street run by volunteer women.  The story goes that young men were horse racing up the street (which leads to a cliff at the top).  One of the young men lost control, and as his horse fell an onlooker cried out," Jesus, save him!"  The boy lived (although the horse died), and a small chapel was built there to honor the miracle.

Flag-toting sheep.  I'm not quite sure why.

A couple cute guys
Panoramic view from the beginning of the food tour


It is a bit odd to see Christmas decor when it's so warm and humid.  The statues around this fountain tree represent the four seasons.  Kathy pointed out how this gift was rather lost on the Puerto Ricans, who have no concept of four different seasons.
Three kings bearing gifts

I particularly like the blueberry and the sesame seed flavors on this list.
We walked up to the old fort at the western edge of the island that afternoon:

This view of the cemetery enticed us to swing down there first:

It was relatively modern, but with classical sculptures that I really enjoyed wandering among.

Grave cat!

Actually, there are a lot of cats wandering San Juan.  If you want to know how they get there, we found one still growing:

Pantheon in the graveyard:

View of the ocean through a chapel door:

We walked up to the fort, but decided against paying the entrance fee to go inside, despite the glorious mustache of the guard on duty (it was like this).  Instead, we went in search of a snack.

Super-garlicky gazpacho at the restaurant inside the former convent in the main square:

We wandered down the hill to the former formal city gate

and admired the ocean view

and got a bit playful with the selfie stick

After that, we did indeed go back to the cafe from the food tour to try their stuffed avocados.  I also got a strawberry-banana-pineapple smoothie that was nicely fresh.  Sadly, the service was so incredibly, painfully slow, it dampened our thoughts of the place.  The waitress did comp our drinks as an apology, but what we had planned to be a quick snack took more than an hour to enjoy.

Avocado stuffed with chicken with fried green plantains and fried sweet plantains

Steak avocado with rice and beans and a tomato salad (not pictured because it took even longer to get to us)

We wandered for a bit before deciding to get dinner here:

The rooftop was windy, but pleasant.  The food was fine, but not remarkable.

Steak tacos with raspberry chipotle sauce and sweet plantains.

Then, a walk back to the condo and a game of Set that turned into just a long, late-night, delightful chat.

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