Castillo San Cristobal (and lots of good food)
After getting back late from Vieques, we spent the next day taking it easy around Old San Juan and finishing up our tour of the old forts by exploring Castillo San Cristobal.
Personally, I ended up liking San Cristobal the tiniest bit better because they had a large, wonderfully air-conditioned area. It was one of the few times I actually also bothered to try and look decent instead of just dress for the humidity. Which is why loose, flowing dresses are a girl's best friend when it comes to hot, humid climates.
The beautiful white interior arches of all the buildings at San Cristobal are a little bit addicting to take pictures of. The light is beautiful, the breeze from the ocean is calming, and it all makes it difficult to remember that you're standing in a place where intense battles were fought and many lives were lost.
San Cristobal is already huge, and it's crazy to image just how much bigger it was when originally completed. About a third of the land was demolished in the late 19th century in order to make traffic flow easier.
Definitely bring some water, sunglasses and hat with you when exploring, since the majority of things to see at San Cristobal are outside, and nobody likes a burn.
Toward the end of our exploration, we stumbled across this battlefield area. Basically, it was where the soldiers would fight in a last attempt to stop any invaders. If they got past a certain point - marked by a line of stones - then it was time to retreat. It was such a gorgeous day, and it was a little difficult to realize that hundreds of men had lost their lives where I was standing.
Once we'd gotten our fill of historic Spanish forts, we were feeling a bit peckish and decided to pick up some food. In the end, we actually ended up going to the same amazing empanada place we'd discovered a couple days earlier to try a couple new fillings and refresh with a pina colada.
It was a fantastic decision.
We even picked up a couple to go and brought them back to the apartment with us.
After making it back to Condado we spent a couple hours at the beach to relax, then walked around to several different shops looking for something to eat. Later that night we stepped out to do some souvenir shopping and get another taste of that famous Puerto Rican night life. One of the fellows we met told us that the weekend partying starts on Tuesdays and goes until Sunday - what a life, eh?
We didn't stay out too late, however, because the next day was our last and we had a full-day excursion to El Yunque Rainforest and Loquillo Beach planned out. Our driver told us to be ready for an early start so we could beat the crowds, and we readily took his advice.
Check back to see what we did on our last day on this beautiful island!