RH and I have finally returned home from our amazing journey on the Transatlantic Cruise with Royal Caribbean from Galveston to Barcelona and then around the Mediterranean to France, Italy and Monte Negro. This trip was truly something I had dreamed about for countless years and I promise you, it did not disappoint!
I have learned so much from this journey and have been awed by the history, beauty, architecture and culture of the many places I have had the great privilege to see. As we journeyed into each port, I became increasingly fascinated with the amazing history our world has to offer.
I will begin my account of this journey with the historic port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. We arrived in San Juan on the fifth day of our journey and were quite excited to have a day in port. We were up early that morning in plenty of time to enjoy our cruise into the San Juan Bay. As our ship headed to the port, the massive fortress of El Morro is on the left side of the ship and offers quite an impressive view from the sea. El Morro is the 400 year old walled fortress designed to guard the entrance of San Juan Bay and defend the colonial Spanish port. The history of this fortress is truly fascinating and takes you back in time to when the Spanish conquistadors were defending the fort.
The port is located in the heart of what is known as Old San Juan, the oldest European settlement in America. El Morro and Castillo San Cristobal, both a part of San Juan National Historic Site are a fairly easy walk or a short taxi ride from the port. Walking or driving, the views of the San Juan Bay along Paseo de la Princesa are simply stunning.
If you are a lover of narrow, cobblestone streets and charming, colorful colonial architecture, you will delight in strolling the streets of Old San Juan. It’s easy to spend the day wandering the streets and soaking up the beauty and history in the vibrantly colored brick and stone buildings. The buildings are delightfully quaint with elegant doors, balconies and colonial details, an absolute dream for a fan of colonial architecture. I would suggest walking shoes to meander though the cobblestone streets and know that mid afternoons might be a bit warm as the tall buildings block the breeze. There are many museums, shop, and street cafes to visit and enjoy easy going Caribbean vibe. If you tire of walking, there is a free trolley that winds through the area and you are able to hop on and off as you desire.
This was our second visit to Old San Juan and I was still fascinated with the history and amazing colonial architecture. We noticed that there weren’t the crowds that we saw on our last visit, presumably due to the devastating hurricane last fall. However, Old San Juan is alive and vibrant awaiting your visit. If given the chance, I will definitely return to explore the history and culture of this amazing island.
Blessing to all – Gerri