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Monday, February 21, 2011

Puerto Rico -- Old san Juan 2.1

  • La Bombonera
  • Old San Juan Walking Tour
  • Caficultura

This morning, we said good-bye to our beloved W resort and took the first flight with Vieques Air Link back to Old San Juan.  Due to the cancelled flight the previous Wednesday, we had to rebook everything for two days later.  All  the hotels, airline companies, and car rental were very understanding and accommodating.  Vieques Air Link was the only company that charged us the re-booking fees.  However, they seemed to feel perfectly okay to add an additional stop to the international airport to drop off two passengers the last minute.  I was not too crazy about their one-sided policy.

Once arrived at the Isla Grande Airport, we took a 10 minutes taxi ride to check into the Sheraton at Old San Juan.  The room was not ready, so we headed out again after we dropped off the luggage.  My friend from Puerto Rico recommended eating mallorcas at La Bombonera, so it was our first stop for breakfast.  La Bombonera was established in 1902 and has been a popular establishment, featured in various food & travel shows.  The morning when we were there, the restaurant was pretty quiet and mellow.  We sat on the long counter and each ordered a breakfast mallorca.  Mallorca is a spiral shape flat pastry that is generously buttered, grilled, and sprinkled with a thick layer of powder sugar on top.  You know it has to taste good. 

After the breakfast, we began the walking tour within Old San Juan.  Old San Juan was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.  It had a lot of flair with cobblestone streets and colorful ornate Spanish row houses with wrought-iron balconies.  We walked along the ancient city wall, La Muralla, passed through Puerta de San Juan, the wooden gate entrance built in 1520, stopped by El Gran Convento, a former convent turned hotel, and lingered at Castle del Morro for a long time.  We took tons of pictures of this photogenic city.  Since this trip was a pure vacation, I did not have any "Must Visit" list.  It allowed us to take the city in at a more leisure pace.  

We took a coffee break at Caficultura near the port in the afternoon.  The coffee was rich and creamy, and the Chicken with Guacamole & fried Plantains was delicious.  Something I did not expect in a cafe.  After having watched a big cruie ship ducked at the port, the streets were flooded with tourists.  The streets were hustling and bustling with excitement and energy.  

We decided to head back to the hotel.  We had a king bedroom suite with a spacious living room quarter and a Juliette balcony looking out to the cruise ships.  We lingered on the balcony for a long time watching the sun go down. 

That night, J, H's client, picked us up and invited us to his house for some home made dinner. 

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