March 23, 2010 – San Antonio (The Alamo, River Walk, Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion)

San Antonio tops our list of cities we’ve visited on this trip!  

Having coincidentally been wading through Mitchner’s “Texas”, much of the history he describes provided an excellent primer for knowing something about the city’s founding, its founders and original inhabitants and the decades of its early growth.

After the short ride from our campground and paying just $5.00 for all-day parking, we took off on foot to see as much as possible … up close.  We started with River Walk, about which we’d heard so much, and in which we were not disappointed.  It runs right through the middle of the city but retains its own ambiance … as it is a “story” below that of the city proper.

Leaving the river, we toured HemisFair Park, what had been the focal point of the city’s 1968 World’s Fair.  These grounds along with the many waterfalls, fountains, statutes, cultural mosaics and other buildings are beautiful and have been well-maintained.  

 

 

 We made our way back to River Walk, passing countless restaurants, gardens, statutes reliefs and plaques recognizing the city’s founders and, water treatments and the locale of certain scenes from “Miss Congeniality”.  We returned to the city streets for a three block walk to the Alamo.  

Like many other historic landmarks, it is surrounded by more modern buildings.  However, as with the other four missions in the city, they encompass many acres and include many buildings.  While the famous facade of the Alamo leads into the missions sanctuary, the complex itself is far larger and equally if not more interesting historically.


From there we returned to retrace our route along River Walk, but from the opposite side of its river.  We ate as Casa Rio, the oldest restaurant, just two feet from the water.  

 

 We then boarded one of the boats which took us on a water tour of the river and canals.

 

We then continued our reverse trip along River Walk and surfaced just a block from where we’d parked … better luck than planning.

We then drove about 5 miles to Mission San Jose, considered the finest example of a completely restored mission in the United States.

 

There, again, the history was fascinating and we were awed by the size of the complex.  

After going back to our campground, we decided to take a bike ride and arrived at Mission Concepcion, the oldest unrestored stone church in the nation.

 

If you are ever in the area, San Antonio is a fabulous place to visit and will cater to the interests of almost anyone.

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