Friday, May 29, 2015

Amtrak Adventure - Day 12 - San Antonio

San Antonio - what a delight. All I knew about the city was it was home toThe Alamo, one of the reasons I chose it as one of our stopping-off points. I had no idea it was such an attractive city with so much to see and do. 

Post Office & Customs House

Emily Morgan Hotel

The walk from our hotel to The Alamo took us past beautiful, grand buildings.

Outside The Alamo itself is a fabulous memorial statue erected in 1936 to commemorate one hundred years of Texas independence. 

The Alamo itself did not disappoint. The exhibits were well laid out providing a timeline of history from its founding as a mission to its use as a presidio and finally the battle of The Alamo itself. One room is a shrine listing all the names of the people killed and where they had originated from. I was surprised by how many were listed as from Europe.  If I had one complaint it was that there was so much information it was hard to take it all in in one session. However, in the gift shop they had a couple of books which I hope to read some day soon - unfortunately they were too big to carry around for the rest of the trip. 

Just across from The Alamo is an entrance to the Riverwalk. At first it looked as if it was man-made waterfalls and mini-canals around the lobby of a hotel but when we got through the building itself we discovered that the walk continued on along the actual river in several directions.

 We followed the path to La Villita, a small Mexican influenced area of workshops and cafes. It had a very small-town, old-fashioned feel to it despite being in the middle of a big city.

Next stop was San Fernando Cathedral which contains a tomb of the remains of The Alamo heroes. 

And finally we ended up at the Govenor's Palace which, despite its name, was neither a palace or a home to the Govenor!  It was actually the residence of the Captain of the Presidio before being used for various commercial purposes until it was bought by the city in 1928 and restored as a museum. The delightful courtyard offered a relaxing and cool place to sit. 

Verdict: San Antonio is definitely one of my favorite places of the trip so far, the charm of the city adding an unexpected bonus.  

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