Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Puerto Rico Vacation: Part 2

We visited 2 historic forts in Old San Juan after walking there from Condado (where our hotel was located). The walk was 3 Miles and we passed the abandoned Olympics Park (built for the Olympics and now decaying). The sidewalk paralleled the north facing beach, and there was rough surf. Rough Surf advisories were posted the whole week we were there, so swimming was not allowed on that side of Puerto Rico.
First Floor of the fort

Looking East from the top floor of the fort
Looking across the top of the fort
Front Entrance to Fort San Cristobal
Spiral Staircase
Tom and Rob on the top level of the Fort

Self picture!
Tom in the Haunted Tunnel- where we caught an orb on film!
The North coast beach from the fort window
The beach from the Fort Window
Looking East from the fort's top floor

We reached the fort, also called Castillo de San Cristóbal and paid our entrance fee at the National Park Service desk. We learned that when the fort was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan

From the ticket area the entrance into the fort was a dimly lit long tunnel that came up onto the first floor. In the middle of the tunnel I felt as if I slammed into a wall of energy and emotion. As you know if you read this blog, I can sometimes sense people who have passed. The energy there in the tunnel actually felt like a blanket. It wasn't an intelligent entity, but a lot of emotion from the soldiers that marched through that tunnel in prep. of defending the fort during wars.
A room used to bunk the soliders

The fort was amazing. The brickwork, the multiple levels, the towers, and the views were spectacular - providing a great look north into the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the colorful, ornamental buildings of Old San Juan to the west. 

For people who don't believe in ghosts, don't read the next paragraph. To me, however, it was interesting.
As we walked through the fort, we did run into an actual ghost inhabiting the fort. It was a Colonel named Rafael who was on the top floor of the fort. Rafael conveyed to me that he was responsible for a group of men who manned the fort. He didn't give me any more information about himself, but he did give me information about the fort that surprised me.

After leaving the top floor of the fort, Tom and I walked through a couple of large rooms painted white and to me, they looked like ammunitions storage rooms. However, Rafael told me that large rooms were used for bunking soldiers. I didn't know what to think.

About 20 minutes later we walked through another area with the same kind of rooms and one of them was set up with wooden bunks on the left and right sides along the walls (PICTURED HERE). The display showed that soldiers would sleep on those long wooden bunks. The wooden bunks had soldier's ammo bags, blankets and what looked like rolls of fabric that acted as pillows.

When I got home I did some research trying to find out who Rafael was. I learned that "Visitors to the park have seen strange apparitions and heard unexplained sounds." Some have encountered soldiers dressed in 18th century uniforms disappearing through the solid walls!

The fort was a marvel in construction and as I mentioned, provided unmatched views of Old San Juan. It's well worth visiting. The second fort we visited (to be highlighted later in a blog) was set away from the city and not as high up, so the view of the city can't compare the the one from Fort San Cristobal. BTW- "San Cristobal" means "Saint Christopher."   The fort was really cool! 

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next