It's a long, hot, unshaded walk from the cemetery to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, which lies on the northwestern-most point of Old San Juan. Its construction began in 1539 when King Charles V of Spain authorized its construction, including the surrounding walls. The purpose was to defend the port of San Juan. Today over two million visitors a year explore the windswept ramparts and passageways making the castillo one of Puerto Rico's main visitor attractions.

On our way to the castillo, we explore its expansive esplanade, offering some remarkable views. After exploring the castillo, we head to lunch and then catch a few last shots of Old San Juan, including Casa Blanca, the ancestral home of Ponce de Leon's descendants for 250 years. It also served as the first military structure on the island--built of stone, it was used as a fort during Puerto Rico's infancy.

In the evening we're off to nearby Dragonfly, known for its Latin-Asian fusion food, resulting in our incredible Peking duck nachos. Yes, Peking duck nachos. This is heaven, and it's designed to look like a dark red bordello. Who knew?

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All text and photographs Copyright © 2006-2014 by Jeremiah A. Gilbert.
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