America Day 8 – San Antonio

Wonderful day – it begins with meeting my Guided Walks of San Antonio guide at the front of the Alamo – I’m doing a History walk round the town. His name is Richard and he is immense – you’d think all the walking would help! Very very knowledgeable though, and with only three of us on the walk, it’s great. The other two are a couple from Yorkshire who came to see the car races in Austin, and are heading for Galveston for a few days on the beach – they’ve ‘done’ the States before.

One interesting element is discovering the styles of building, from palisade (think log hut) through adobe (my favourite) to stone and brick. Here’s a surviving old adobe home…

Love the mission bell and cactus on the roof!

I now have a repository of useless information about San Antonio to add to my trivia night skills. I’ll share one – seven flags have flown over the place! Very very good, I am a big fan of guided walks. I loved the big store that is built around a church – the store owner could not get them to sell him the block the church stood on (St Joseph’s) so he built his store right up around it – they call the church St Jaskers now (the name of the store!). It kind of pokes out of one corner of the shop!

The Alamo is a very well presented museum, but there’s not a lot to it – it’s symbolic now. I was excited regardless, I read a brilliant book some years ago about Jim Bowie who of course is one of the main characters in the story along with Davy Crockett and his Tennessee sharpshooters, and the 26 year old commander, William B Travis. Zak’s age! Yep, one of Bowie’s knives was on display! The American’s treat it with massive respect.

Beautiful carving. It was a mission church, there were four missions in SA. All the buildings were limestone which was dazzling white when new, totally impressing and indoctrinating the native Indian population and convincing them to become Catholics. Spanish foreign policy circa early 1700’s!

I really loved the River walk, built seventy odd years ago as a flood mitigation and beautification scheme, it’s below street level and follows a loop in the river, there are water taxi’s with tourists doing the loop, beautiful tree’s, gardens, ducks, and a little theatre, and its lined with eateries and bars, all doing a roaring trade and no wonder.

The little theatre – taken from the seating amphitheatre. What a lovely venue!

I choose Tex Mex for lunch, it’s OK but I do still think most Mexican food has the same taste, the only variance is the consistency, and in this instance I ask for Tabasco to liven it up!

Mmm chicken enchilada’s.. mmm, definitely not health food!

Shame I’m not going to be here for the River Parade on Friday night… it’s a big event.

Beautiful – very peaceful down below the city centre traffic, lots of sculpture etc. Water was exceptionally clean too.

Over lunch I’ve decided I really need to revise my plan’s – I wish I had more time now. But I’m due In Canada on the 27th, and am still determined to make it to the East Coast and complete the cross country road trip. So an afternoon drive down to Galveston on the Gulf, and from there to New Orleans tomorrow.

So much more interesting staying off the Interstates!

Massive flock of smallish birds roosting for the night on the wires, there were thousands at this intersection

So much more traffic now, and much more populated, the Border Patrol officer at Del Rio told me the country greened up east of San Antonio and he was right. I pass massive gate posts to ranches, green rolling hills, and much more prosperous looking townships on my way south, manage to avoid getting the wrong highway passing by Houston which is HUGE. Get stuck in a traffic jam, spend half an hour at a McDonalds to let it move, and make my beachfront motel by about 8pm.

Looks as if I am in much more heavily populated America now, and I am sad to be leaving the West…. absolutely loved those wide open spaces and huge skies… but on the plus side I am well past the halfway mark now!

Christmas Texas style! This tree across from the Alamo, every town and association in Texas seemed to be represented by an ornament

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