Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Alamo and River Walk


The weather here is suppose to turn for the worse, so Max and I decided that we should probably visit the Alamo and the River Walk while it is nice outside.

We arrived in the downtown area and located the Alamo. It was on Alamo street, very convenient for sure. We found a parking lot close by and made our way up to the Alamo.

There was not any admission fees as the shrine is cared for by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. They rely solely on donations for the upkeep of the grounds. Since it is a shrine no pictures are allowed inside the mission itself.

The Mission

Originally named Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years. Construction began in 1724. In 1793, Spanish officials secularized San Antonio's five missions and distributed their lands to the remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to farm the fields, once the mission's but now their own, and participated in the growing community of San Antonio.

In the early 1800s, the Spanish military stationed a cavalry unit at the former mission. The soldiers referred to the old mission as the Alamo (the Spanish word for "cottonwood") in honor of their hometown Alamo de Parras, Coahuila. The post's commander established the first recorded hospital in Texas in the Long Barrack. The Alamo was home to both Revolutionaries and Royalists during Mexico's ten-year struggle for independence. The military — Spanish, Rebel, and then Mexican — continued to occupy the Alamo until the Texas Revolution.


Max standing at the outer wall which included the long barracks.


San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. In December 1835, Ben Milam led Texian and Tejano volunteers against Mexican troops quartered in the city. After five days of house-to-house fighting, they forced General Martín Perfecto de Cós and his soldiers to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo — already fortified prior to the battle by Cós' men — and strengthened its defenses.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio López de Santa Anna's army outside San Antonio nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna's army. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo sent forth couriers carrying pleas for help to communities in Texas. On the eighth day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Legend holds that with the possibility of additional help fading, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over — all except one did.


The rear of the mission. At the time there was no roof on the Alamo and the defenders ramped dirt to the upper arch and placed several 8 pound cannons to protect the rear.

On the inside there were several display’s from private collectors, including a musket once owned by Davey Crocket, a sword once owned by Santa Anna and numerous other items from the period.

Inside the compound



It is too bad that I could not take have taken more pictures but I certainly understand. It was a great visit and certainly worth it. As we left for the night I took a couple of night shots of the front and outer walls of the compound.



San Antonio Riverwalk

After the visit to the Alamo we walked across the street and went down to the Riverwalk. San Antonio does it right taking advantage of the river to bring in economic activity to the downtown area. The San Antonio river starts right here and winds through the city. There are shops and restaurants all along its course.

It was after lunch time when we got to the Riverwalk and our first priority was to get some lunch before we toured the area.

We stopped at a restaurant called Dicks. It is a restaurant that serves sarcasm as well as food. They make people wear silly hats as well. Notice the restroom sign, (2P)



The food was nothing special and during the day the atmosphere was probably a little more tame but we had a good meal.

After lunch we bought tickets for the river barge tour that would take us all through the riverwalk area. It was a narrated tour of the history of the San Antonio area and Riverwalk.


The whole area is just beautiful with all of the plants and gardens. Here are a few shots along our tour.






Casa Rio Restaurant where we had dinner



At the River Center enjoying live music




Leaving the Riverwalk through the Shops at the Landing


We spent the whole day enjoying different sights, sounds, and food and the wonderful atmosphere that is in this area. If anyone is ever in the San Antonio area do not miss the opportunity to explore this city treasure.

Enjoy Your Day!

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