San Juan, Puerto Rico With Merevin

Published: 08/18/13 10:09 PM in Caribbean, Travel.

In 2011, Kevin and I travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to survey the site for Kevin’s thesis project. While there we mostly spent our time in Viejo de San Juan exploring the sights in the area and enjoying the Mofongo.

With only four days to explore as much as we could and take care of our academic responsibilities, we did not get a chance to venture very far out of Viejo de San Juan. Next time we go to Puerto Rico, we’ll have to head over to El Yunque and some other areas around the island because there is so much we didn’t get to explore. However we definitely did get to explore Old San Juan very thoroughly.

A little bit of a warning though, as a tourist you do need to trend with care while you explore Old San Juan. One road in the wrong direction and you could end up in a very dangerous area. However, it is pretty easy to identify where that area is and that you should stay away. As on any vacation, always remember to be aware of your surroundings and assess the situation. As Professor Moody would say, “Constant Vigilance!”

Merevin visits El Morro in Puerto Rico.

A trip to the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, referred to as El Morro for short, is a necessity on any trip to Old San Juan. The fortress occupies the northwest point of the islet of Old San Juan where it stands to protect the entryway in the San Juan Bay.

The extensive lawn of El Morro in Puerto Rico.

Meredith Lambert poses in the many archways of El Morro.

Kevin Banogon poses in the many arches of El Morro in Puerto Rico.

The public enjoys the lawn in front of El Morro's fortress.

Our favorite part of the entire fortress of El Morro was the giant, grand lawn that lay before it. On the day wa visited it, it also happened to be a kite flying day so the entire lawn was full of people and their children flying kites on a beautiful day. The lawn adds a level of grandeur to El Morro that is usually reserved for grand and opulent houses, making this fort a beautiful historic site.

Merevin enjoys the colorful buildings in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Meredith Lambert gets ready to walk along the water in San Juan.

Kevin and I spent one afternoon walking along the Paseo de la Princesa, which runs on the outer rim of Old San Juan along the water’s edge. It was a very gentle walk with very few disturbances. It was nice being able to walk along the water’s edge at sea level and feel safe from getting wet.

The most entertaining part of the walk for us was meeting and interacting with the many stray cats that live in the bushes of the pathway. They are very sweet, harmless, and actually seem cared for by the locals. In fact, cat sightings in the area became so frequent that I began calling them Los Gatos de San Juan.

Kevin Banogon poses in front of the gate of San Juan.

The public enjoys the walk along the water in San Juan.

Kevin Banogon stands tall in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Merevin enjoys the sites in Viejo de San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The walk along the Paseo de la Princesa allows you to have an unimpeded view of the Old San Juan Gate. This gate was the main port of entry back in 1635 and is the only opening left in the fortifications around the city which stand tall next to you as you move along the pathway.

Graffiti in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Merevin's apartment in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The interior of Merevin's apartment in San Juan.

During our time in Puerto Rico, we stayed in an apartment in Old San Juan. This was definitely a highlight of the trip since it was a very authentic way to experience San Juan, Puerto Rico and not get caught up in the overly touristy hotels of the area.

The space was very nice with wooden loft spaces and an interior courtyard that was connected to the other floors of the building. To stay cool, we opened the large windows and set up fans to pull the air through the space. The open windows kept the place cool and allowed us to experience the different people walking by on the street.

Merevin's San Juan apartment in the daylight.

Meredith Lambert poses with a local mask from San Juan.

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