Some Texan contrasts

Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
Trip End Feb 26, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The stereotypical 'olde' Texas village of Gruene was only supposed to be a quick stop off on the way to San Antonio, but somehow we missed the turning and ended up on a 50 mile detour! Oh well, at least we got to see a bit (or a lot) of Texas Hill Country which was very pretty.

When we finally arrived in Gruene, we had a wander around, looking in the old wooden shops and trying vast quantities of local salsas and pecan butters (amazing!). We stepped into the ‘Gristmill restaurant’ for a look around the original water-powered cotton gin, and ended up staying for lunch as it had a log fire (it’s very cold here) and nice food. After lunch, we had a peek in the Gruene Hall, a dance hall built in 1828 and still operating. It was a bit like the set of a Western.

Our next stop was San Antonio, site of the famous Alamo siege in the Texas Revolution in 1856. Having visited the Texas museum in Austin, we knew quite a lot about this so wandered along for a look at the remains of the original walls and the Mission. We also explored Market Square, a Mexican themed market and the Central Plaza with its cathedral, courthouse and fountains (which Stu enjoyed jumping in).

In the evening, we had a walk along the River Walk, a cobbled path leading along the edge of a loop in the canal-like river. It is lined with restaurants and bars and is very touristy but also pretty with lots of fairy lights and small boats going past. We found a cheapish Mexican restaurant and had a delicious meal sat right on the edge of the river listening to the mariachi bands touting for business. In our opinion, this is the prettiest Texan city we’ve been to with interesting history and a lively, if touristy, feel.
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