I asked a friend what her plans were in San Juan, and she replied, “To explore.” I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do! I’ve been to San Juan more than many of my cast mates, but still have a lot to see.
We got off the ship as soon as crew was granted shore leave. We went straight to the Starbucks down the street to load up on caffeine and come up with a plan. I pulled up a map of the city, and saw a castle nearby. We walked the 8 minutes t the castle, and arrived about 10 minutes before it closed. Although we didn’t pay to go inside, we were able to walk around the outside and appreciate the views and architecture. I was also able to meet a pair of iguanas that seem to have set up camp in the castle walls! If I were ever able to disembark earlier, I would love to see the rest of the castle, Castillo San Cristobal.
We continued walking, and soon came to the city hall. The building was large and beautiful with columns and a dome. Palm trees flanked the traditional building, creating an interesting contrast.
There was a plaza with a statue across the street. Paths led from there to the beach. We walked down to take in the ocean views, but were not wearing proper footwear for a walk on the sand. We continued walking until the sun started to set. The sun setting on the water was gorgeous, but not enjoyed for long, as we were getting very hungry!
A friend in the stage staff had suggested a tapas restaurant with a flamenco show. We sent the name and address to another pair of dancers, and ended up having a fun dinner for four. The two flamenco dancers were entertaining, but the real highlight was the guitarist. He filled time between songs with funny anecdotes, and his playing was fantastic. While enjoying the show, I split a pitcher of red sangria and had a shrimp and scallop dish with a coconut and honey sauce. If my belly was less full, I may have been tempted to join the salsa class that was offered after the show.
We ended the night with a leisurely walk back to the ship. Sightseeing, great food, entertainment, and good friends made the evening incredibly enjoyable! As usual, I’m looking forward to another night in San Juan!