Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On the road again in Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Much like my trip, this blog will be short. With only a few hours to see the sights of San Antonio, I headed over to its main attraction, The Alamo. Admission is free and contrary to popular belief it is not open 24 hours a day. You can visit the Alamo 9:00 am-5:30 pm Monday-Saturday and 10:00 am-5:30 pm on Sunday. There are guided tours about every half hour. No need to sign up or wait on line. Just follow the crowd. In addition to the "Shrine" as it's called, there's a beautiful courtyard, the Long Barrack Museum, the Sales Museum (which is really a gift shop with some artifacts on display), and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library. It's pretty small and depending on how long you linger around the grounds, it should only take about an hour to see everything.
I learned on the tour that the Alamo is a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. It is considered hallowed ground and the Shrine of Texas Liberty. Unfortunately, just right across the street from the hallowed ground is San Antonio's equivalent of the Vegas Strip. Neon lights, Ripley's Believe it or Not Haunted Adventure, Museum of oddities, and the Tomb Raider 3D ride aren't exactly the first things that come to mind when I think of a Shrine. I wonder what Colonel William Travis and Davy Crockett would think if they could see what it looks like now.

After my visit to the Alamo, I headed over to the Riverwalk. Winding around downtown San Antonio with shops and restaurants along the way, the Riverwalk was even prettier than I expected. It's a beautiful feature that sets San Antonio apart from other cities. There are boat tours that you can take but I opted to wander around on foot. My self-guided tour took me to Old San Antonio or "La Villita." Maybe it was because I visited on a weekday but it was kind of like a ghost town. There were a few artsy shops but mostly just stores selling the same touristy junk that every other store sells. It seemed deserted and there wasn't really anything to do so I went back to the Riverwalk and had lunch outside at a Mexican cafe and watched the ducks and pigeons fight for tortilla chips.

Had the weather been nicer, I really could have amused myself in San Antonio all day but the rain cut my visit short. I'm glad I got to see the Alamo and the Riverwalk because they are as crucial to the San Antonio experience as eating Tex-Mex and Barbeque.

I'm not sure where my next trip will be so check back in next week to find out!

No comments:

Post a Comment