of the Caribbean
In Case of Siege
Sunday is the day we have earmarked to explore Old San Juan.
Unfortunately the weather seems to be conspiring against
us, as a steady drizzle seems to have settled over the city.
Over breakfast we decide that a bit of rain is not going
to put us off (after all, being British, we're used to it!)
and I tuck an umbrella into my bag along with the sunblock.
to Old San Juan is much easier in comfortable shoes, and,
despite the rain, we decide to walk along the old city walls.
Puerto Rico was fought over by the British, Spanish and
Dutch, and as a result, many defences were built, including
several forts. The largest fort, known as El Morro, overlooks
the entrance to the harbour, and is very impressive, even
on a rather damp and miserable day. Inside the fort, there
are several cannons and stacked cannonballs, with displays
of period military uniforms and informative displays about
how to fire cannons and how drinking water was stored underneath
the fort in case of siege. One of the symbols of San Juan
is the sentry box, a small, round, room in which a soldier
would stand, watching out for attackers.
usual in these places, I am glad that I am not a 17th-Century
soldier. The fort is well maintained and litter-free. In
the gift shop, the only drinks on sale are bottles of 'San
Juan forts' branded mineral water. I hope they have improved
their water collection and storage techniques since the
days of sieges.
Part 8: A
turn for the worse