Sunday, July 15, 2007

Old San Juan

Saturday was our day to spend in Old San Juan. We'd decided we wanted to try a bakery that had been recommended in Old San Juan, so we got in the car and took off. It's a very pretty drive along the beach and not too hard to get into a parking garage. We even got to drive over some of the blueish cobblestone streets.

We tried to go to the tourist office - actually we tried several, but none of them seemed to be open on a Saturday! In fact, not much was open early in the morning. We finally found the restaurant/bakery that had been recommended - La Bombonera:

I love the fancy tile work on the sign!

We were a little confused as to how this all worked. There was a display case of pasteries out front and then a restaurant in the back. We picked out our pasteries, but they were packed "to go". D wanted some coffee and we all thought we'd like to sit and maybe get something else, so we found a booth and sat down. We ended up ordering a few things, including the grilled toasted Mallorca* that was recommended - yummy! It was a rich, slightly eggy pastry, dusted with powdered sugar, that had been grilled and buttered. We all loved it. We also got a half pineapple to share. Wow- what a fancy treat!

* I had forgottent that the recommendation was for a grilled Mallorca, so I had gotten one in the pastry case - they are tasty enough at room temp, but much better toasted!

When we left the restaurant, we found a trolley stop and caught the free trolley, hoping to take it up to the El Morro fort. Well, no, the trolley took us on a loop of San Juan closer to the cruise ship docks. It was a nice little ride and we got to see some of the area, but it didn't get us any nearer to the fort. We found out later that there are 2 different trolleys, but we never did find the ones that go up to the fort, though we tried to ride one back down from there.

We wandered our way up to the fort, stopping to go in and out the old city gate and see the outside of the city walls. Then up, up, up to El Morro. It is a big fortification, with lots of interesting nooks and crannies for kids to climb around in.
M in one of the towers:

A, back in one of the sentry boxes (I'm not sure that's what they called them - long slotted window for shooting out of), with me in front. They were a bit too short for me to go through - or at least not without stooping.

Here's a view out of one of the windows on the upper level. So beautiful!

This is a view out of one of the lower level windows - I really liked the bars and the palm tree just outside the window.

After El Morro, we were all ready for lunch, so off we headed to find something. We looked at one place that had been recommended, but it looked far too fancy and heavy for lunch, so we asked about somewhere we could find sandwiches. We found a little place around the corner. M wasn't too sure of it at first, but then he found he could get a grilled cheese Mallorca, yep, complete with powdered sugar. He was in heaven!

A wanted a shrimp dinner, but we vetoed that - too expensive and way more food than he could eat. He ended up with a tuna fish sandwich which he really enjoyed. D had a Cubana and I had a Media Noche (just like a Cubana, except on a slightly sweeter bread).

Then it was back to the pigeon park we'd visited briefly earlier in the morning. The kids had really enjoyed watching and trying to feed the pigeons - a kid there had shared a handful of feed with M and he wanted to go get more feed himself. So, back we went. We bought a big bag of feed and we all had pigeons eating out of our hands:

M even got one to land on him to eat!

A says, they have sharp little beaks (and he's right):

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home