Wednesday, February 10, 2016

San Antonio TX

We needed to split the drive from Terlingua to San Antonio into two days so we spent a couple nights
Display in visitor center at
Amistad Natl Rec Area
in Del Rio. This gave us a day to relax, do some laundry and visit the Amistad National Recreation Area. In the visitor center for the recreation area we found out how big a largemouth bass can grow given the right conditions. The lake record is 15.68 pounds. This picture shows a couple "smaller" ones.

San Jose Mission Church
After our day of rest we moved on to San Antonio. We arrived early enough in the day to start working on our list of things to see by visiting missions. We drove to the three southern most ones which weren't too far from our RV park. There is a chain of five missions along the San Antonio River which make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The missions were first established in the early 1700s as Spain attempted to extend its dominion northward from New Spain (now Mexico).
Espada Mission Church

Although most of the current buildings are not original, they are very old and in various states of reconstruction. One of these missions is Mission San Antonio de Valero which is commonly called the Alamo. Founded in 1718, it was the first mission on the San Antonio River. The history of these missions, especially the Alamo, is long, involved and interesting. Here are a couple good links that provide more information. SA Mission World Heritage and Old Spanish Missions

On our first full day in town we took the bus into town as far as the Alamo. After spending time there we walked for hours around town looking at historic places that we had read about. The Menger Hotel was our favorite and it happens to be right next to the Alamo. We were able to walk around in the lobby and look into the restaurant to enjoy this gem. I didn't take any pictures but the link has a photo gallery and history.
Mission Concepcion Church

From the Alamo we walked the River Walk heading west. We stopped at The Esquire Tavern, est 1933, for lunch. Continuing on, we wanted to see the Aztec Theater but couldn't get in. We checked out the La Mansion del Rio but couldn't see much. We left the river walk to continue west to the San Fernando Cathedral which was nice and the County Courthouse across the street was impressive, as well. We walked by the Spanish Governer's Palace, but didn't pay to go in, on our way to Market Square where we were curious to see what a Mexican market would be like in San Antonio. Answer, expensive. On the walk back we saw the tiny O. Henry house which was closed for the day.
San Fernando Cathedral

The next day we walked the river walk from our RV park to the last mission.

We really enjoyed all of the missions and the river walk. The visit was enjoyable (if we ignored the signs of crime) so mission accomplished.

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