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Monday, February 06, 2006

San Antonio

We had an absolutely beautiful day for sightseeing today! It was sunny and a little breezy, but that kept it from being too warm. Our drive was an easy hour into San Antonio and we found parking right away - just a short walk from The Alamo.

It was very strange to see this mission/fort right in the middle of a city! I am so used to these type of historical areas being out of the way, with lots of land or gardens surrouding them. But, here was The Alamo right smack in the middle of San Antonio.

These structures are well-maintained, considering they are almost 300 years old! All of the missions we visited are that old - amazing! We think we are so smart here in the 21st century, but the masonry of these buildings is just phenomenal. And when you think how hard they had to work to build them, well, it's just mind-boggling. At least to me.

From The Alamo we walked along the River Walk. This is a below the city walk that meanders along the San Antonio River. I must admit to being a little disappointed with this. We had visited Savannah and went to its River Walk and I was expecting something similar. It was not. Savannah's is along its river and outside. This walk is under a mall and a couple of hotels. It was pretty, but just unexpected. Glad we did it, though. A picture of a waterfall along the River Walk is posted here.

After the River Walk, we went back to the truck to drive the nine-mile Mission Trail. This course takes you to four additional missions that were founded to bring Christianity, specifically Catholicism, to the Indians. Again, all of the buildings were gorgeous. And they were all different, which was surprising to me because they were all commissioned by the same folks - Catholic friars. We really enjoyed seeing the differences. We were also surprised to find that each of the missions, with the exception of The Alamo, are still in use. They all have congregations and hold regular services. That was pretty cool. One of them even has an active convent!

The Mission Trail follows the San Antonio River. We had to cross it a couple of times in order to continue along the trail. There were signs that gave you a detour to follow if the water levels were high and you couldn't cross. It was pretty cool - haven't fjorded a river in quite a while! Just to the left of one of the crossings, there was a small waterfall. I've included a picture of that.

I've posted pictures of each of the missions. For more pictures from different views and for inside pictures, just go to our Webshots site. I took a lot of pictures, including one of each sanctuary. Again, it was interesting to see how differently each sanctuary was decorated. The grounds of each mission were different as well.

Hope you enjoy. We're going back to San Antonio tomorrow to visit a couple of historic neighborhoods. So, more pictures to come!

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