2017: San Antonio

The Last Battle

March 20


We had one more day to spend in San Antonio, so we returned downtown to look around one last time. Maybe this time we could even make it inside the Alamo! And yes, as it turned out, on a Monday after spring break was over, it was easy.

They ask you not to take pictures inside, so all I have to show is this nicely-blooming tree from outside. But there's not really much to show; the building is just some very old stone walls that saw some history made many years ago.

Both ways?

I remembered an exhibit called The Battle for Texas which sounded interesting, so we went in search of it. Along the way I took one of my "irony photos".

We found the exhibit hall downstairs in a mall along the river. The fine-looking fellow at right was selling the tickets and delivering the sales pitch. I think he was supposed to represent William B. Travis, but he projected a bit more Mark Twain. In any case, he definitely rated a picture.

The exhibit is a bit like a private museum, displaying actual period artifacts, a few re-creations for atmosphere, and a LOT of history, most of which I had never learned in the Texas school system. For example, that the Texas Revolution was actually sparked by the "Come and take it" episode in the town of Gonzales when Mexican troops tried (and failed) to repossess a cannon that Mexico had given the town for defense against the Comanche. That and other facts really put the Alamo battle in context.

But context is hard to photograph, so I had to settle for artifacts.

Plaza fountain.

After we finished with the Battle, we walked back to the plaza where we'd seen "The Saga", the wonderful light show, the previous evening. Today we wanted to see San Fernando Cathedral in daylight, and also visit the inside.

  Nave. Altar. Stained glass. Pipe organ.

Just inside the door of the cathedral is a marble coffin which contains the remains of Alamo heroes.

As we left the cathedral, we noticed barriers protecting a jumble of platforms, scaffolding, and other equipment. I remembered reading that "The Saga" would not be playing next week because "American Ninja Warrior" would be taping in the plaza; and sure enough, we recognized "The Wall", a near- vertical ramp that contestants must scale.

We walked back to take a last look at the bustling downtown River Walk; when we got back to camp we also visited the more tranquil version nearby. We would certainly miss our visits to this iconic river.