The day was very slow to warm and I didn’t think I was going to end up going into San Antonio. We final hit double digits Celsius near noon and I decided to head out, wearing sandals, but also long thick leggings under my skirt and a long-sleeved top, and I stuffed my heaviest wool pashmina into my purse at the last minute. I wound up being very grateful for that shawl as I wore it all afternoon. It was warm in the sun, but absolutely freezing in shaded areas.
Teri, my host here at Hidden Valley had given me a detailed map with how to get to $5 a day parking downtown. I gave the map a glance before leaving and only noted the exit name… not that I had to get off I-35 and take I-10 to I-37, from which I would take said exit. So I wound up driving straight through town and had to double back! But once I was downtown, the parking lot was easy to find. It is at the corner of Bowie and Crockett, kitty corner from the giant mall.
First stop of the day was the Alamo! WOW! I can’t believe I’ve finally been to the Alamo!!! Wow! 😀
A number of people told me that I would be disappointed, but disappointment is all about expectations. No expectations, no disappointment. From a purely pragmatic point of view, I could understand how someone who is only moderately interested in the Alamo might not get much out of the site. There is a very long line to get into the shrine, an even longer line in the shrine snaking through the sparse exhibits, and there is no photography permitted.
But if you know the history, you can close your eyes and hear the rifles and cannons and death gurgles of men drowning in their own blood. In the room where women and children sought refuge, you can hear their muffled cries of terror. Standing within the halls of this former mission, I could understand how it has become a symbol of Texan independence.
The exhibits are wonderful for a history buff; lots of old documents and maps with a few artifacts, like a book belonging to Bowie and a rifle belonging to Crockett.
Attached to the Alamo shrine, there is a museum (again, no pictures). You can also see a movie, but the line for that was really, really long and I was ready for lunch.
The Alamo (which means cottonwood) is free to visit. You can pay $6 for an audio tour, but I opted out.
My thirst for living history slaked, it was time to find some lunch. I had done my research and headed to Sushi Zushi on the corner of St Mary’s and Commerce. Don’t give me that look! I haven’t had sushi since the beginning of January!!!!!!
From the restaurant, I was able to head down into the famous Riverwalk, where it was really cold along the water. What a beautiful area! I did the entire main loop and a little of the newer branch that heads north.
After, I headed across town to the marketplace to see the Mercado, colloquially known as ‘the Mexican flea market.’ If you want to get a sense of what it’s like to shop in a Mexican border town without having a bunch of shopkeepers hassle you, you have to check out this place. I was underwhelmed by the same tchotchkes that I saw in Nuevo Progreso and Tijuana.
That was the end of my day. Public transportation is super cheap in San Antonio, but the city is very walkable and compact, so I ended up hoofing my way back to the truck, enjoying the exercise and sunshine.