jeudi 15 mars 2012

Driving to Texas - Day 6 (San Antonio)

San Antonio is built around the centre of the city - the Alamo and the river. It was once home to a series of battles for the formation of the state of Texas, and now is a very commercialized centre with Mexican cafes, boat tours and Alamo T-shirt shops along the riverside.
The highlight of my day was finding a two hour parking spot right beside the front gates of the Alamo. Because the city has grown up around this historic site and river, there are no parking lots, so drivers have to drive in circles for awhile before they find a curb-side opening for their car. We were so pleased with the location we found, that we dreaded leaving it.
The Alamo historic site was originally an old town parish, or fort, made out of stone walls from the surrounding valley. For John, the most interesting character in the battle was a man named Bowie who was a dead shot with a gun (apparently, injured, he fought the entire battle from his bed in a tent) and who developed a sinister-looking knife known today as the 'Bowie knife'. This knife was one of the first to have a backward serrated edge, like a shark's set of teeth, so that when a man was stabbed in battle, the knife did a great deal of damage coming back out. One of the originals is kept in the Alamo museum.
Like many historic forts and villages, the Alamo employs a group of young re-enactors, as well as various students who demonstrate life in the Alamo. We spent a lot of time taking in the beautiful gardens, koi fish, and the children's games at the fort.

There is a 'shrine to the Alamo' inside a small chapel in the centre of the site, but the lineups were over two hours long just to walk through, so we left the buildings and gardens for a lunch along the riverside, where Seumas attracted a very nice duck who was determined to be his girlfriend. We had to tell her, sadly, that she wouldn't be able to go home with us and she would have to leave. We all giggled at this.
    Tomorrow is a day at the 'Wild Oaks Ranch Resort' just outside of the city close to SeaWorld, and from there, we will begin our journey back home through Memphis and Nashville.

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