Old San Juan, El Morro and Castillo de San Cristóbal

San Juan is the Capital of Puerto Rico, but I would recommend heading to Old San Juan to hang out and walk around - it's a much more enjoyable area. It's beautiful, charming and feels safe.

I love, love, love the colorful buildings!  The white trim also really adds to the overall feel of the buildings as well.
Even the Burger King looks nicer the normal in Old San Juan.

So beautiful here.  Warm, humid air.  Sea breeze.  Spanish chatter in the background.  Colorful buildings.  Music playing.  Scent of delicious food cooking.  Take me back!


Here we are at El Morro, one of the two big fortresses in Puerto Rico.  US News summed it up nicely and said, "El Morro juts out of San Juan harbor beckoning cruise ships just as it used to deter sea attacks. The structure is a hulking six-story fortress built between 1539 and 1589, withstanding two World Wars and several other scrimmages. Now, El Fuerto San Felipe del Morro is Puerto Rico's go-to tourist attraction, both for its extensive history and its outstanding vista of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also walk though the fortress' depths, which include a maze of tunnels, barracks and prison cells."  There's a lot more interesting info here.  One of the things I found most interesting from that article is that, "In 1493, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in Spanish) "discovered" Puerto Rico and claimed it for Spain. A little known fact is that Columbus called the whole island San Juan, in honor of Saint John the Baptist. Puerto Rico (puerto = "port" and rico = "rich") was the name given to what is known today as the Old San Juan area. It was only later that the names were reversed and the whole island became known as Puerto Rico."
Beautiful waves.  I love the varying shades of blue and different breaking points.

Playing outside.  I think it's obvious we're really happy to have a break from school and work.




These two fortresses were really similar in my mind and so I hope I haven't mixed up any of the pictures between the two, but that is a very big possibility.  

According to Wikipedia, the second fortress, Castillo de San Cristóbal, "is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal's double gates. After close to one hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification (about a third) was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city."














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