Tuesday, November 13, 2007

San Juan, Puerto Rico

We spent the night in Atlanta since our flight was leaving at 6:25AM this morning. The shuttle from the hotel to the airport got us there in plenty of time. Our flight to Miami and the one from Miami to San Juan, PR were uneventful and enjoyable, though long. I mostly read and window-gazed; Jim mostly listened to his IPod. Our sailing was not until 11:00, so we had quite a bit of time after boarding before time to sail.

Here is what I found out (about San Juan( from various sources before we left:

San Juan, Puerto Rico -- The ship will probably dock just across from the Sheraton Old San Juan. Passengers can walk off the ship into the heart of the old city. Or the ship might dock just across the bay -- a stone's throw away -- but it's farther than it looks and passengers need to take a taxi to get anywhere.

It's walking distance into the compact--yet fascinating--Old San Juan. Streets are uneven (constructed of blue cobblestones cast from furnace slag) and hills are steep. You can also hail minibuses (called "omnibus"), which shuttle along main routes; to hail one, respond with a wave when the driver toots his horn.

Old San Juan is a wonder to see. The two major fortresses, San Felipe del Morro and San Cristobal, were built over 400 years ago. These massive structures are fun to explore, and the old city between them is full of of houses, cobblestone streets, and other interesting sights. The narrow streets of old town also hold surprises such as small bars, gardens, and amazing plazas such as Plaza San Jose and Plaza Colon.

No comments: