Saturday, March 07, 2015

San Juan Bay, San Juan, Puerto Rico

On the cruise one of the stops was San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The ship was moored in the harbor of San Juan Bay, with a great view of the Old Spanish fort.

San Juan is rich in both history and culture and was a very interesting place to spend a day.

We were moored with an excellent view of Castillo San Cristobal.

Also visible was the Governor's Mansion, La Fortaleza (the blue colored building in the picture).

The Governor's mansion was the original main fort, but it was converted to the Governor's residence when the Spanish figured out they had built the fort in the wrong place - in the center of the harbor rather than at the entrance to the bay which was a much better position. The mansion remains the residence of Puerto Rico's governor to this day.

They then built the El Morro fort at the mouth of the harbor.

The doubled walls surrounding the city of Old San Juan are 42 feet thick with an inner layer of sand to absorb cannon shot and took over 48 years to complete.

It made for a very strong defensive of Spain's most important port in the Caribbean.

Even today the harbor is of import for control of the Caribbean, as can be seen from the several US Coast Guard vessels in San Juan Bay.

Among them was WMEC-910, The USCG Thetis, a Famous class medium endurance cutter, based out of Key West.

The day was sunny and warm and the views of the city were awesome.

Of course we didn't stay on the ship but went off to explore historic Old San Juan in a most tasteful way.


Old NFO said...

Hopefully with all your belongings intact... Puerto Rico is a shadow of it's former prosperity since the US military pulled out.

Aaron said...

Old NFO: Yes indeed, all intact.

Apparently with two cruise ships in the harbor the word was out because the police presence in the city walking around the port and historic area was very heavy. As in at least one officer or more visible per block heavy including some quite heavily armed and armored.

Old San Juan seemed pretty safe, everyone was friendly and never had any bad vibes walking around. It seemed much safer than Detroit or Flint.

Old NFO said...

That's good. They used to pickpocket the hell out of any military folks that went downtown...