Saved on Sifnos - a travel story out of the Aegean Sea that includes little harbours, sleeping villages, several tavernas, a ferry onward, a Greek cultures festival and a room with a view, travelogue, trip, travel, Greece, Cyclades, Sifnos, Kythnos, ferry, island-hopping



Snapshots of the Caribbean
Part 9:
Three flags

The next day, we get up late, feeling the effects of one too many delicious but deadly coconut martinis the night before. We had hoped to visit the El Yunque rainforest today, but this does not seem like such a good idea after all the rain, with more rain forecast. Instead, we walk along to the Condado area, where many of San Juan's hotels and casinos are found. The neighbourhood is slightly seedy by day, although the amount of building work going on suggests that efforts are being made to improve things.

After lunch, we get a bus back towards Old San Juan, where we have another fort to explore. Unfortunately, the bus system here requires that you pay the 50-cent fare in coins. We do not have any coins, and we struggle to understand what the bus driver is saying to us in rapid Spanish. A lady sitting nearby comes to our rescue, and pays our fare. We try to give her a dollar bill in exchange for her four quarters but she refuses to take it. The level of generosity and friendliness among Puerto Ricans is truly uplifting.

The San Cristobal fort is smaller than El Morro, but it affords superb views of Old San Juan. Three flags are flying over the fort: the Stars and Stripes, the Puerto Rican flag, and the Spanish military flag, known as the Cross of Burgundy, yet another reminder of the island's European heritage.

From the historic to the ultra-modern, our next stop is Plaza Las Americas, San Juan's largest shopping mall. Compared to most shopping malls, Plaza Las Americas is pretty big, but, compared to the shopping facilities in Barbados, it is gigantic! I am slightly overwhelmed but shopping is like riding a bike, and I am soon practising the long-forgotten skills of handing over the credit card in Macy's, Gap, Banana Republic, and, best of all, Zara (another taste of Europe!). We have arrived too late to explore the whole mall before closing time, which, on reflection, is probably a good thing with respect to my bank balance.

Part 10
: Criollo Food and Free Drinks

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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