Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Old San Juan

After two hours in El Morro I still had a couple of hours of light left. The question then became how much of the rest of Old San Juan I could see in that time!

San Juan National Historic Site
I started wandering east figuring I'd make my way to San Cristobal Castle.  But I made sure not to focus too much on what was ahead of me and turned back to look at the pathway to El Morro.  The silhouettes of people walking toward the citadel, tiny as ants on the broad green expanse, with the sun partially obscured by large, textured clouds struck me as unique and interesting.

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery
Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico's most prominent natives and residents.

Old San Juan blue cobblestones
Made in England using iron ore, Old San Juan's famous blue cobblestones were brought to the New World as ballast in ships and dumped at the harbor to make room for more valuable cargo. The iron gives the stones their color, which shifts depending on the heat, sun, and humidity.

Plaza de Armas of San Juan
The Plaza de Armas of San Juan was designed to serve as the original main square for the city.  The square's main feature is a round fountain with four statues called "The Four Seasons."  I'm guessing this one is winter.

Christopher Columbus statue, Colon Plaza
Colon Plaza is at the entrance to Old San Juan and contains this statue of Christopher Columbus at its center.

San Cristobal Castle
More garitas!  This one is right outside the entrance to San Cristobal Castle, and I was able to get some decent color from the setting sun despite the overcast skies.

San Cristobal Castle
An observation post was built onto the castle in WWII, which seems a bit like overkill to me given all the sentry boxes it already had.  Here's the view to the west down Boulevard Del Valle through its narrow slit.

San Cristobal Castle cannonballs
Marbles?  Blueberries?  Nope -- a stack of cannonballs on the main plaza.

San Cristobal Castle flags
The citadel flies the American flag, the Puerto Rican flag and the Cross of Burgundy flag, the old Spanish military flag.

Colon Plaza
Colon Plaza after sunset.  I was hoping for more people on a Friday night to get a little energy in the shot.  But then again, I'm just not that good at shooting people.  So maybe an empty plaza was for the best. :)

I'm starting to get better at shooting on a tight schedule.  But I think I'd really like to move at a more leisurely pace again sometime soon!

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