The sun was missing in action most of the day. In spite of the intermittent showers temperatures were pleasant, as was the day and my wife’s company.
We again sojourned Old San Juan. Highlights included Constitution Avenue, on which we saw the Athens Club, the oldest education and cultural organization in Puerto Rico, the Spanish Heritage Center, the Carnegie Library, and the White House which is Puerto Rico‘s seat of government. On the opposite side of Constitution Avenue from the White House are a line of life-size bronze statues, Presidents of the United States who have visited Puerto Rico beginning with Theodore Roosevelt. It was noteworthy to see which presidents were represented, but sad to realize which presidents were absent. My impression is that Puerto Rico received much more attention in the first half of the 20th century than the last half of the 20th century and the early 21st-century. There is a gap between the statues of presidents Gerard Ford and Barack Obama representing over 3 decades.
We toured Castillo San Cristobal, a Spanish fortification the construction of which began 500 years ago. It was expanded over the next 250+ years and is renowned as one of the worlds finest examples of pre-modern military defenses. It is a World Heritage site managed by the United States National Park Service. Our “geezer passes” saved us $14 in admission fees! The resources that Spain dedicated to the fort over the centuries is a tribute to the strategic value of Puerto Rico for colonial expansion into both North and South America. It and Puerto Rico were ceded to the United States by Spain’s surrender in 1898 concluding the Spanish-American war.
We enjoyed a light lunch in the oldest restaurant in PR.
On the way back to our B&B, on one of the narrow connecting avenues, we encountered talented street musicians who had drawn an enthusiastic crowd of thirsty and hungry locals. Taverns on opposite sides of the street were the clear beneficiaries, serving hot homemade Caribbean foods and cold Puerto Rico brews. I am a fan of Magna, a full-bodied lager… 2 for $5 at the street music venue!
It’s 5pm, and I’m taking the opportunity to write these notes while Christine takes a rest. We will be heading out for dinner soon. No destination in mind as luck seems to favor our random wanderings.
Peace Everyone! Pete
PS. We encountered an Airstream RV with Indiana plates. How it got here is today’s mystery.