JP chose San Antonio as our next destination because of the Alamo. Well to be more accurate because John Wayne made a good film about the Alamo.
This historical fortress compound was founded by Roman Catholic missionarys in the eighteenth century. It was the scene of a battle in 1836 between Texan soldiers and a much larger group of Mexicans. The Texans including James Bowie and Davy Crockett held out for thirteen days but were eventually killed. The site itself is very well presented, we watched guns being cleaned and there were lots of displays. It was very busy but the garden was a welcome respite from the crowds inside.
The Rest Of San Antonio
We had no expectations for the rest of San Antonio so it was fantastic to find out how much there was to do. The city is very lively, possibly because it is a big military centre so there is plenty of spending power. Its not cheap though so we had to find economical places to eat. The River-Centre shopping mall’s food court was a lifesaver.
Tower of the Americas
This tower is in Hemisfair park and was built for the 1968 Worlds Fair. A glass elevator takes forty five seconds to take you the seven-hundred and fifty feet to the top. Here you have a complete panoramic view of the city. There is an exhibition of the history of Texan flags and a fun 4D movie “Skies over Texas”.There is even a Zoltar machine (a fortune telling machine from a Tom Hanks movie if you’re too young to know.)
The Buckhorn Saloon
Another tourist trap but fun. It was pouring hard so we decided to spend an hour in the Buckhorn Saloon. Its in a former department store close to the Alamo. The antlers and horns that cover the walls were accepted as payment for drinks making the place unique. It has expanded into a museum but we didn’t bother with that. We just had the famous Bukaritas – tequila and prickly pear juice. They seemed a better bet then the Buckthorn Bloody Mary which apparently contains Campbell’s tomato soup.
The River Walk
Some would say the river walk is San Antonio’s main attraction and it is a unique feature. There are pedestrian walkways all along the river with shops and restaurants. You can get a boat ride for a narrated tour along the centre part. The atmosphere is great in the evening but it’s an expensive evening.
And That’s Not All
The Briscoe Western Art Museum has great displays and some fabulous paintings. The Spanish Governors house is worth a visit. Then there is the ubiquitous botanical garden, its actually really good. We also found time for the Japanese Garden and had proper tea in it, this was well worth the bus ride. We could have seen several other things but we had crammed as much as we could into our time in this great city.