San Juan – Checking out the City

Lenny left for a birding trip at 5:30 this morning. I took the opportunity to check out Old San Juan beyond the fiesta.

The old city was encircled by a three-mile wall, built by the Spanish between 1630 and 1790. Much of it is still left and I walked the wall. It’s called Paseo del Morro, part of the San Juan Historic Site. This section was less than a mile, and some of it was closed because of repairs. Yet, it’s still part of the National Recreational Trail. How can such a short piece be considered a trail?

From this vantage point, you can see how the fort protected Old San Juan. The island  beyond the El Morro Fort, Fortin San Juan de la Cruz, has a second fort. If an enemy ship came in, it would be caught in the crossfire from the two forts.

I didn’t really study the forts today; I’m waiting until tomorrow so that Lenny can come as well. I did continue the walk around the wall and noted a plaque honoring a woman who contributed to golfing (?) in San Juan. How did she get to be honored in the national park? This plaque was put up in 1962, way after the two forts became a national historic site in 1949.

The modern part of Old San Juan, with the Governor’s house, had some interesting statues, including all the presidents who visited Puerto Rico while in office. The first was Teddy Roosevelt and the last, President Obama. But not all the presidents in between visited.

And then I found their World War I memorial. Just like in France, the plaque said “the world war”.

The statue could have been one of many that I saw on Le Chemin de St. Jacques.

Tomorrow, we visit the two forts in detail.

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