This is for all my fellow Puerto Ricans, but especially for my Dad, Harold Calderon. Happy 39th B-day!
I started the morning off early with a walk through the extensive grounds of the Embassy Suites / Golden Sands resort in Dorado, and around mid-day we made our way into the Puerto Rican capital — San Juan. Old San Juan is a beautifully restored colonial city and was founded in 1521. We parked our vehicle close to the Puerto Rican Capitol and started walking west towards Old San Juan past Plaza Colon which features a statue of Christopher Columbus. After my initial explorations of the popular shopping street Calle Fortaleza I discovered the Governor’s Mansion (la Fortaleza) where two local policemen enlightened me about the significance of this building. Then I came across the Parque de las Palomas where hundreds of pigeons swarm the tourists who feed them. Walking north I explored the Atlantic waterfront, the Old San Juan Cemetery and one of San Juan’s most imposing fortifications: Fort San Felipe del Morro, begun in 1539, which today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I even hopped on the free open-air tourist trolley to get a more comprehensive view of Old San Juan and caught a nice sunset, looking south over the Bay of San Juan.