San Antonio is basically what we anticipated, a cute historic city with a lot of character
. Obviously the city is known for The Alamo and its surrounding artifacts, but, it is also known for its River Walk. The River Walk is almost like an underground city that follows the river and is a collection of bars, restaurants, and businesses, but, under the shade of the trees. That is where everyone seems to hang out for the most part. When you walk along the main streets the city is dead, but when you take a couple steps down to the River Walk it is a whole new world down there packed with people..a bit weird. In San Antonio we visited The Alamo, La Villita, Riverwalk, Buckhorn Saloon and the Cathedral. As you know Alamo was a mission that was the site of a long horrible siege that took the lives of 189 Americans during the Mexican war for Independence, and the Cathedral is the burial ground for all 189. La Villita is a small Mexican village that now serves as a shopping area and plaza. There is endless history in this city. Oh, I should mention that we have moved on from our facination with alligators -- after Austin, we are now focusing on bats!! The funny thing is that when we began walking around San Antonio, literally 10 minutes into our walk, on the sidewalk was a dead bat. It was perfectly intact, belly up, just lything there almost smiling at us. No one else seemed to be bothered by it, but it was pretty distrubing. We were mesmerized and wanted to take a photo of it for the blog, but figured it may be a bit much, so we just moved along.
The next day, before leaving the San Antonio area, we took a short drive south to visit what is known as "Mission Trail" which is now known as Missions National Historic Park and houses Spanish frontier historic missions. The Mission Trail is a trail of Spanish missions that run through out Mexico, California, Texas and even New Mexico. The goal of these missions was to convert the Indian Mexican natives to catholicism and the Spanish ways. Food, clothing, and a safe home to live would be offered in exchange for learning Latin and Spanish, and becoming catholic, etc. These missions would be run by Friars for 10 years, after which the missions would be secularized. In San Antonio there were 6 missions, one of them was The Alamo, of the other 5, only 4 remain and are part of the Missions National Park, of the 4, the best preserved and largest mission is the Mission San Jose, which is still in use today. We toured Mission San Jose and it really was an esquisite piece of history, very well preserved. The photographic opportunities were endless.
Our one night stay in San Antonio was just enough, and gave us time to
rest before we set off on our longest trek so far..to Santa Fe, NM.
http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htmMay 3 - May 4
Mi Tierra - Cafe and Bakery
: We had dinner here as our booked recommended it, it was ok, the best part was the bakery that was adjacent to the cafe. We picked up some pasteries for dessert/breakfast, and these were yummy!
As we exited Austin for San Antonio, Tx, we decided to take a little detour - a scenic drive through the "Hill Country" of Texas. This was a beautiful drive that took us up through Dripping Springs and the historical town of Blanco, the circular drive we took is referred to as "The Devil's Backbone". We saw ranches upon ranches surrounded by an abundant amount of wild flowers. When we stopped for gas the air smelled so fresh and sweet, seriously, honey suckle breezes. After years in New York city, opportunities to take in the smells of nature are definitely savored and highly preferred over the smell of a stinky cab driver in a car with no air!! Hill Country is made up of rolling hills of limestone's which we just took as an indication of what is to come once we hit New Mexico. While on the road we saw Armadillo crossing signs, but, unfortunately we have not seen one yet, but we are still looking - eagle eye Brian is on the case.