Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

Last year, I ended up staying for few days in Puerto Rico mainly because my friend who has the biggest crush on Ricky Martin insisted we stop there on our way home. We mostly stayed in El Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan), which consists of Spanish colonial buildings, some amazing shopping spots and of course awesome night life. We visited El Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as many museum and salsa bars as possible. Here are some of the pictures I took of this beautiful city considered the Gibraltar of the West Indies:

 We stayed in Da House, one of Old San Juan funkier hotels and an amazing bargain

Besides its affordable price, its surrounded by some of the city's best salsa bars

 The food is another good reason to visit Puerto Rico, I think we checked out almost every local eatery 

 One addictive dessert I would recommend is Quesitos de Guayaba (Sweeten Cream Cheese and Guava Pastries).

 Some of the local art and shopping spots

I surprisingly did not buy anything on this trip, but my friend did buy this beautiful necklace for her mom

Founded in 1509, San Juan became a walled city protected by multiple forts. It guarded an important entrance into the Spanish Main, and withstood multiple attacks by the British and Dutch.
 I founded it fascinating how present day influences can be seen in these historical fortresses,such as this basketball court.
 The Castillo de San Cristóbal

 Puerta de San Juan

 Old San Juan is a common stop for cruise ships, yet it's not considered a beach resort.
 Museum de las Americas

 Paseo de la Princesa 

Quite by accident we ended up visiting Catedral de San Juan, an austere Spanish church known for its Gothic-neoclassical inspired monument, and ended up attending the funeral of Luis Aponte Martínez who was the first Puerto Rican to be made cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

 I took a picture of his see-through glass casket, as well video of the funeral, but I don't feel comfortable sharing it on a public forum. I'll extend the same privacy and courtesy taught in my Islamic tradition to him.

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