What an interesting place San Juan is! American, but not really. Our cruise ship was leaving from here on the 26th of December, so M and I decided to arrive a couple of days early and explore the city.
We arrived on Christmas Eve and felt like we were the only people left in the city. The streets were empty and mostly everything was closed! Christmas Day was actually much busier, which was a little surprising, with everything open by the afternoon. We chose to stay in Condado, which is a cute little area where a lot of hotels are. Because the buses were running on holiday hours we decided to walk to the old city. Bad idea. After an hour and a bit of walking we were drenched and exhausted! As the locals say, there are two seasons - summer and hell! We definitely took the bus home :)
The old city is really beautiful. So historic - colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, a couple of forts, etc. Here are some pics from Castillo de San Cristóbal.
The city is walled in, but between the outer wall and the ocean, squatters moved in. Very interesting to see their tin houses with 5 satellite dishes on each... hmm.
The best part was that we sat with a couple from San Juan during dinners on our cruise and got to learn a lot about the culture and lifestyle in Puerto Rico. The man was an architect and is working on the capital building in San Juan and had great stories to share. The woman opened a yoga studio and was very interesting to talk with. Gives great perspective to speak with locals! Indeed, a very interesting place to visit!