signed up for one night at El Convento so next morning we had a
great breakfast in the patio dining area then we broke camp and
prepared to roll out. But, prior to getting on the road we
decided to do a final walkabout in Old San Juan to the portions
that we had not yet seen.
The photos below are what we saw.
securing our bags with the bellman, we went to the 4th floor of
the El Convento hotel to their roof deck for a look
around. We could hear that a mass was in progress at the
cathedral across the street. A small rain squall had just
rolled through and produced about 5 minutes of strong rain then
it moved on. There had been just enough rain to make the
sidewalks slick and the humidity like a sauna.
see the roof of La Fortaleza from the balcony of El Convento.
the mouth of San Juan harbor we could see the sister fort for El
Moro. This fortified position also had canons and was used
to create a cross fire for invading ships.
skies that produced the brief rain squall moved on lending some
color to the eastern horizon. The cathedral is clearly
visible across the street.
balcony also gave us a clear view of the small park across the
street from El Convento.
Sunday morning and Mass was in progress in the cathedral.
We could hear the singing from the balcony.
stowed our luggage with the bellman and headed out. A
parting shot of El Convento.
walked across the street to the cathedral and took a look in the
stained glass behind the altar was quite nice.
at an overlook at the south end of the city shown on the map as
the small circle. Man it was hot and humid.
overlook allowed us to see another cruise ship that had docked
at Old San Juan.
are the premium houses as the street is blocked off and there is
nothing to obscure the southern view.
headed over to La Fortaleza and then toward the water.
These places are on the western edge of the city against the
around La Fortaleza was heavily patrolled and this was as close
as you could get. Indeed, the open door at the right of
the photo above goes to the police motor pool; there were 20+
motorcycles parked inside.
the San Juan Gate, the entrance to the city from the shore
side. Arriving ships would put ashore and come into the
city through this heavily guarded gate. There were 5 gates
to the city and commercial traffic went through other
gates. The gates were locked at dark and if you were
outside, you stayed outside until morning.
of the seaward side beyond the gate. Today there is a
walkway along the wall called Paseo del Morro. Note the
the gate and a bit to the south was a small plaza. This
bust was there, but without attribution.
are some very nice places just inside these walls.
the southern point we could see inside La Fortaleza. This
was a nice fountain and there was some kind of party going on.
returned to El Convento, retrieved luggage and left Old San Juan
in our rental car. We went around the south end of San
Juan bay to Isla Cabra. Cabra is directly across the mouth
of the harbor from El Morro. From the point we could see
La Fortaleza (baby blue and white building). From here you
can clearly see the height of the city walls.
San Juan was visible from Cabra as well as the Yunque rainforest
in the mountains beyond.
This was clearly a
tourist seaplane on approach to a landing in San Juan Bay.
also provided a clear view of El Morro, a very impressive and
We headed west along
the northern shore of the island and encountered a huge
political rally. There were a number of large trucks
each mounted with generators and massive sound systems blaring
out music at a million decibels.
It was getting near
sundown and we did not have a hotel reserved so we started
looking in earnest. We stumbled upon the Embassy Suites
in Dorado right on the beach, so we checked it out. The
price was right and we were ready to stop so we did the
deal. From our room on the sixth floor we could see a
portion of the golf course and tennis courts. Note the
mountains to the south.
Toward the north we
could see the waves on the beach.
room we could see the artificial lagoon that was constructed
with the rock breakwater. The waves on the north side of
the island were pretty strong, particularly since hurricane
Sandy was due north of us.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.