Sunday, February 27, 2011

Puerto Rico, baby!

It has been almost 6 months since my last blog post! I have been so neglectful.

What I have in the way of interesting pics to post today are from my recent trip to Puerto Rico with my good friend and traveling buddy Aisha. I loved Puerto Rico so much. I will definitely go back in the very near future to do and explore all the things I didn't get to during my short stay there. If you have never been, please feel free to live vicariously through my perspective. The following pics are my favorites from the trip. Though it was a trip for pleasure and photos were low priority, I am a photographer and it is against my nature to not take at least a few pictures! Considering I just took casual snapshots, I think my pictures turned out incredible, if I do say so myself.  FYI:  most of the info in this post came from Wikipedia, the guidebook, or from my notes taken while in Puerto Rico.

The best part about Puerto Rico was the food. This is my tofu with criolla sauce at Cafe Berlin. The cuisines of Spain, Taíno and Arawaks Amerindians, and parts of the African continent have had an impact on how food is prepared in Puerto Rico. Although Puerto Rican cooking is somewhat similar to both Spanish and Latin American cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of influences, using indigenous seasonings and ingredients. Locals call their cuisine "cocina criolla."

Aisha's seafood mofongo. A plaintain based favorite, mofongo is considered the national dish. Plaintains are fried, mashed, and mixed with olive oil, crushed garlic, and sometimes pieces of bacon, and served as breakfast, or as a side dish. Aisha's version contains "shrimps" as the Puerto Ricans say, and scallops topped with criolla sauce. Make you want to slap yo madre

This was Luquillo Beach, which we stopped to admire on our way to Fajardo.

The streets were so scenic. It was surreal to be there!

Part of Fort San Felipe del Morro, a 16th century citadel located in San Juan.

Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. This is right outside the walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro fortress. The location of the cemetery is central to the Puerto Rican belief in the separation of death and life. The colonial Spanish government at the time construction of the cemetery commenced, viewed death with fear because it was a mystery. Therefore, they decided to build the cemetery to overlook the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the spirit's journey to cross over to the afterlife.

Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery

A crypt in Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. This cemetery is the final resting place of Puerto Rico's most prominent natives and residents. It is named after Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis.

Flagpoles on El Morro today customarily fly the United States flag, the Puerto Rican flag and the Cross of Burgundy Flag, also known in Spanish as las Aspas de Borgoña, a standard which was widely used by Spanish armies around the world from 1506–1785

I call this my "Postcard Shot"

El Morro Lighthouse built by the U.S. Army in 1906.

One of El Morro's many garitas.

I loved the beautiful colonial streets of Old San Juan!

Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe: This grand cathedral in the center of Ponce, with its striking, twin-spired Neo-Classical facade, was designed by architects Francisco Porrata Doria and Francisco Gardon in the 1930s and built on the site of a building that was destroyed in the 1918 earthquake. Rising over Plaza Las Delicias, the white and duck-egg-blue church honors the city's patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe. The interior boasts stained glass windows, a grandiose alabaster altar, and a huge pipe organ installed in 1934. Open 6am to 1:30 pm Mon-Fri, and 6am to noon and 3pm to 8:30 pm Sat-Sun.

Inside Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe

Pretty stained glass inside Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe.

This guy played the accordion on Calle del Cristo.

La Puerta de San Juan: Durante los siglos XVII y XIX la Puerta de San Juan era la entrada simbolica a la cuidad. Despues de desembarear en el muelle abajo, los visitantes procedian por la puerta hasta la Catedral donde daban gracias por el viaje sin contratiempos. Los abastocimientos y materiales entraban por la Puerta de San Justo.

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