January 5, 2010

our first visit to San Juan

After two long days of sailing, we finally reached our first port of call in Puerto Rico. We were ready to get off the ship to explore Old San Juan for the first time. We spent the day just walking to and around El Morro fort and other landmarks in the old city. The temperature was 82 degrees, sunny and very bright. It was a perfect day for a new adventure.

1) the Spanish fort of El Morro as seen from the ship's promenade deck. 2) San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico. 3) El Morro's thick walls. 4) a quiet and shady spot by the fort entrance.

We were hungry even before we started our stroll, so as soon as we passed by La Mallorquina restaurant located at the busy main street of San Justo, we didn't hesitate to stop for lunch. A full day of walking under the heat of the glowing sun left us thirsty and dry. Refreshing pineapple sorbet from a local vendor was a welcome treat.

1) the interior of La Mallorquina restaurant in Old San Juan. 2) asopao with chicken, a thick Puerto Rican soup cooked with rice and served with fried sweet plantains. 3) an appetizer plate of fried Spanish cheese. 4) Spanish flavors dominate this chorizo appetizer cooked in tomato sauce. 5) my plate of steaming hot yellow rice with crab was also served with fried sweet plantains. 6) a snack cart selling all kinds of native Puerto Rican snacks. 7) a local vendor selling fruit sorbets and shaved ice flavored with syrups. 8) refreshing scoops of pineapple sorbet 9) an old cobblestone street.

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