Puerto Rico Travelogue: Day Two

November 24, 2009 Travel

When we arrived at The Gallery Inn on Saturday, Dharma was the first to notice the many pictures of Barack and Michelle Obama visiting the hotel. When we asked the clerk about the pictures, all she told us was that the first family visited during the primary election campaign. Yesterday we befriended the maintenance man and he filled us in on the details. It turns out the Obamas rented out all twenty-two rooms during their visit, the place was crawling with Secret Service and the couple stayed two nights in the same room as my parents!

Yesterday, the main highlight was spending a few hours exploring the historic Castillo de San Felipe Del Morro. This fortress was built by Spain over 400 years ago to protect San Juan from seaborne invaders. The sheer size of the fortress is really overwhelming. I’m familiar with the many forts along the Great Lakes, but those are a couple hundred years more modern and much different in design.

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It was also the the set location for the 1997 film, Amistad.

After a few hours at El Morro, we relaxed with some piragua and kite flying outside the fort. Afterward we headed back downtown to buy some hats and aloe (I may be a child of the Mediterranean, but I still managed to get sunburned!).

Morro 03
From Puerto Rico: Day Two

Similar to Jamaica and New Orleans, Puerto Rican food is amazing! It seems hard to find a bad meal (not that we’re looking!). I enjoyed bistec encebollado for lunch at El Patio (see my Yelp review). Unlike South American encebollado, this popular Puerto Rican dish is essentially steak and fried onions. If you ever have a chance to try the Puerto Rican bistec encebollado, I recommend enjoying it with a mixed fruit frappe!

For dinner we ate tapas on the patio at Toro Salao (see my Yelp review). Nothing quite beats a busy day in the sun like a good dinner outside, under moonlight. “Special” sangria certainly helps to keep the spirits high too!

I’m looking forward to more good food and adventures tomorrow!

– Devon Akmon

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