Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our First P-Day (Or Half a P-Day)

Our Trip to San Felipe del Morro 

On Saturday, June 28, we woke up early and drove to Old San Juan on the peninsula. It took us about a half hour to get there because the traffic was really light at 8:30 on Saturday morning. When we reached the end of the peninsula we could see what looked like a fort and a park. We found a parking garage and walked across the park towards the fort. Click here for more information about El Morro.
The park used to be used as a golf course when the fort was actively used by the military. In recent years, the NPS has worked to convert the grass area to look more like it would have during the time the fort was actively used. A few people were out flying kites. It was very windy.
To the right of the park right by the ocean there was a cemetery

This is a view of the park from outside of the fort.

The fort was first built by the Spanish in the early 1500s to protect San Juan Harbor. Over the next 200 years, Spain expanded the fort to the size it is today. It is definitely one of the most impressive structures I have ever visited. 

The Atlantic Ocean looked pretty rough. The Caribbean side of the island is supposed to be much calmer.

The walls were very thick.

A bronze cannon.

A stairway down to one of the lower levels.

John in front of one of the larger walls.

John in front of another impressive fortress wall.

Sentry stations like this are positioned all around the fort. They have now become a symbol of Puerto Rico.

By another cannon.

John in front of another fortress wall.

This is a triangular staircase down to one of the lower levels. The fort contained areas for housing and many different daily activities just like a castle.

The lighthouse has changed a lot over the years. Some people feel that the paint doesn't actually match the rest of the fort, but the park ranger says that it was painted when it was in its original state.

We ate lunch in a Chinese restaurant in San Juan. We didn't have time to walk around the narrow streets of San Juan on this trip because we had to be back at the office by 1:30, but we hope to return soon. 

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