This is Texas’ oldest awesome big city. When I arrived on the evening of May 22, I found a very warm welcome at Rodeway Inn Downtown and that Quiznos sub I mentioned earlier was very welcome to my famished abs.
After a grand night’s sleep, on the highest bed I encountered this trip, I checked out of Rodeway, parked my car in a covered garage, and headed out for a day in this magnificent city.
Here is an overview of the heart of downtown.
Below is the front of Catedral de San Fernando.
The remains of the heroes of the Alamo lie here.
The cathedral is a working, vibrant parish church. Worshipers were present here when we tourists were circulating. I removed my ball cap upon entry, of course, and only photographed when two men were done praying.
This altar, though, is exquisite.
The courtyard is also serene, and an enterprising parishioner has a comfortable and friendly restaurant, Poblano’s, on its east side. I enjoyed mole enchiladas, with a zingy unsweetened chocolate sauce. Poblano’s is a Main Avenue institution, coming back from a fire a year or so ago. It would be to the right of this fountain. I know where I will head next time I’m in “San Antone”.
Just southeast of the cathedral is Bexar County Courthouse.
I headed east, along Commerce Street, passing a few Riverwalk venues (See Day 6, Part 3). One, on the north side of Commerce, near Crockett Street, is the Five and Dime, a huge market and cafe, reminiscent of the store where many people my age bought school clothes and had an ice cream soda or a milkshake, back in the 1950’s. This is the beginning of San Antonio’s Midtown.
Near Alamo Square, well-heeled travelers can enjoy fine hotels, like the Menger. The St. Anthony, northwest of Alamo Plaza, is also a fine hotel, and is being remodeled
Midtown’s bustle, based on the heart of the Riverwalk, comes to a halt as one reaches Alamo Plaza. For many, a sense of reverence starts to enter the psyche and heart.
People even approach the Gazebo (above) with respect.
Just before entering the Alamo, it’s good to stop and reflect at the Cenotaph: “Spirit of Sacrifice”.
Day 6, Part 2: The Alamo