San Juan, Puerto Rico
Went over to Puerto Rico for Pan American Masters Weightlifting Championships and had a couple of days to hang out & look around. Being on an island - the breeze was incredible the entire time - something we don't always have in Central Florida.
It wasn't a vacation since the competition was important. Castillo San Felippe del Morro was a must, since we both lover castles & fortresses. Traffic was busy getting to it - so the cabbie parked a bit away, which was perfect - beautiful walk on a nice day through some old streets to a huge fortification.
The scale of the fort itself is deceptive - it was a pretty long walk since it's huge. I love the dark solid look. Very medieval.
On the interior, there's a central plaza off which walkways branch off to different areas. Gift shop, bathrooms and some exhibits are under those arches.
The fort is epic & even larger than it looks, since it's up on a cliff/hill and has more layers on the ocean side.
Views were fantastic in all directions.
Looking back at Old San Juan with Castillo de San Cristobal way out on the left, which is where were heading next.
Shaded square with a statue on the way.
Obviously had to stop in.
The old San Juan with it's colorful houses and narrow streets wasn't as nice as the photos show it - sidewalks are very narrow with quite a few large trash cans on them and when someone else is coming your way - you pretty much have to step into the traffic (there's quite a few cars there) or bully the "opponent" into doing that. So we just moved on to the Castillo de San Marcos, which is a bit smaller, but still was very cool with some World War II fortifications within as well.
Castillo del Morro in the distance with historic San Juan on the left.
It was still quite a large fort.
Looking over the city from one of the castle walls.
Overall it was a nice trip. Puerto Rico is definitely plagued by the same as pretty much all the islands I've been on in the Caribbean - some nice areas, lovely weather, but quite a bit of sketchy areas, decay, and disrepair even in the nice areas.
The view from our hotel was epic, but right next to it was a graffitied husk of a building with no windows or doors. Very Chernobyl-esque.
I do hope that Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Irma (which devastated Florida as well) and prospers in the future. It's a gorgeous place with so much potential.