Apr 28, 2012
. After we completed the tour we had a quick lunch and caught the Grand Trolley tour of the historic areas of the city, these trolley tours are always good as they provide an overview of the city and a way to get from one point to another. Not all of the stops were of interest to us so we decided that we would not get off at every stop. Our first stop was the “Mission San Jose” which is run by the National Park Service. To a great extent this mission has been reconstructed to portray how it looked in 1778. This was a massive amount of land surrounded by a large stone wall; that housed the clergy, soldiers, and local Indians; with the church as the focal point of the Mission. The church is still an active church holding services every Sunday. We spent an hour and a half looking around the mission. Our next stop was the “Mission Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion” the second of 5 missions in the San Antonio area. This mission is also run by the Park Service, it is not as large as “Mission San Jose” but the church is just as beautiful, and it also is still an active church. The distinguishing point of this church was the original frescos that could still be seen. The last stop on our tour was the “La Villita”, a collection of art and craft shops, at which Valerie purchased a souvenir. We then proceeded to the “Riverwalk” and walked to a Mexican restaurant for a drink and a small dinner. Relaxing at a table along the river was very enjoyable. We then headed back to the camp-ground and prepared to leave in the morning.
This morning was a beautiful sunny day with an anticipated high temperature of 85, we were glad that we delayed our trip to San Antonio until today. Around 10:00 we arrived at the Alamo and started our self-guided audio tour, the "Alamo" that we see today is a very small part of what existed in 1836. The building that is always portrayed as the “Alamo” is actually the church that was inside what was originally named “Mission San Antonio de Valero”, but was referred to by the Spanish soldiers as the Alamo in honor of their home town in Spain. The original foot print of the Alamo was extensive, but over the years “progress” in the 1800's through the development of the city of San Antonio reduced the size of the “Alamo”; and in 1905 the Texas Legislature entrusted the remaining structures to the “Daughters of the Republic of Texas” with the care and maintenance of the Alamo. The descriptions and explanations given in the audio tour were extremely informative and detailed