El Morro y Castillo San Cristobal

Last weekend we enjoyed a visit from Kyle and Becky.

The lighting is this restaurant is normal; it’s just that they’re both Smurfs.

As part of the grand tour, we all headed into Old San Juan to, among other things, poke about the architecture.

Most notably the city boasts two forts, the larger and older of which is El Morro.

The forts are run by the U.S. National Parks service, which grants access to multiple levels of the structure. The decor is sparse, and the most notable features are the views of the ocean, but there are also museum-esque elements including historical signage about the Spanish empire and how it really went downhill in its later years.

A famous feature of both forts is the garita, or guerite in English, a sentry tower of sorts, many of which line the walls of both the forts and the city. These are something of an icon for San Juan and even Puerto Rico in generally.

Your admission to any one fort gets you into the other on the same day, so we headed over to Castillo San Cristobal. This fort is smaller and younger by a bit, offering most of the same information, but it’s still nifty to poke around. My favorite part is definitely the tunnel to the dungeon, which features hundred-plus year old drawings of ships on the wall, allegedly the work of a captain awaiting trial for mutiny.

This field trip won’t compel anyone who doesn’t already kinda like forts and castles and things anyway, but if that’s your bag both buildings are definitely worth checking out.

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