River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"Remember the Alamo!" - Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Early morning, I was at my volunteer post with three others to do pre-registration for today's walking events. Weather as I drove in required intermittent windshield wipers. I was hoping the fog and mist would clear by the time I walked (around 9:00 a.m.).

We had a steady number of walkers come in. Among them were Dennis and Carol Romig who run the Menehune Marchers Volksmarch Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. We were members of their club when we lived on Oahu. They are such a warm and welcoming couple. They brought Hawaiian-photo calendars for some of us. Thanks, Dennis and Carol, for coming to our event. It was good to see you again. 

After my shift, I went to the hospitality suite for string cheese, a banana, and coffee cake. Then I headed out on my 5k walk.  No getting lost for me today! I knew this route pretty well. 

The weather had cleared and the sky was beautiful. Perfect walking weather! The walk started along Cesar Chavez Blvd and then I went down the stairs to the River Walk. 

Tower of the Americas from Cesar Chavez Blvd
The views from the San Antonio River viewpoint (below) are lovely. In a few weeks, the trees will be leafed out and the views will be different, yet again. 

A historic house across the river
Next, I came upon one of the flood control dams on the San Antonio River. I believe the round building has something to do with flood control gates.

Nueva Street Dam
The plaque below explains why the San Antonio River does not flood downtown. There are a series of dams and floodgates, along with a flood tunnel deep underground. 

Good information

Three cormorants napping in the sun

River Walk heading into downtown
Pretty early bloomer
Sunday morning is not a busy time along the river. Once again I caught up with Deb from Maryland and we walked together for a while.

View through the bridge's arch
Looking back at Bexar County Courthouse
Another early bloomer...
Iris maybe?
Across the river is the Briscoe Museum of Western Art in what used to be the main library building. 

Beautiful sculpture at Briscoe Museum of Western Art
(It looks like the horse is riding the fence!)

Deb taking photos of the Briscoe Art Museum sculpture
Large sculpture at Briscoe Western Art Museum
The landscaping is excellent. I love the waterfalls.
We turned up from the river at La Villita. Their stairs have colorful tiles between the steps.
Stairway to La Villita
La Villita was one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Antonio. The rock homes have been converted into art galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Below is the Little Church of La Villita which was built in 1879. I stepped inside the door and took a photo of the stained glass window which had the morning sun shining through. 
Little Church of La Villita, 1879

Inside the Little Church of La Villita
Mountain laurels are in full bloom!!
Friendship Torch sculpture
Below is an angled side view of The Alamo showing its proximity to large buildings in the heart of downtown. Many people who have never been to San Antonio picture The Alamo in their minds as being out in the midst of fields. It was when it was built, but San Antonio grew up around it.

I stopped at The Alamo to watch the 25-minute History Channel movie in the long barracks. Deb continued on. 

The Alamo in the foreground
Built-in 1936 as the Alamo Museum,
this building is now the gift shop.
"Remember the Alamo!": On Friday, February 23, The Alamo started a 13-day commemoration of the 181st anniversary of the siege and battle of The Alamo. Living history programming and special events, such as demonstrations of the artillery of the Texas revolution, will be presented.

Interactive picture taking
From The Alamo, I crossed the street and went down the stairs and through the waterfall court of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. From there, I passed through the Hyatt Regency to the River Walk.

Hyatt Regency's waterfall court
Hyatt  Regency's waterfall court 
The tile mural below depicts a number of things. From top to bottom, you see the six flags that have flown over Texas, the San Antonio Museum of Art (which was formerly a brewery), Bexar County Courthouse, San Fernando Cathedral, Mission San Jose,  The Alamo, Mission Concepcion, and in the bottom center is the stage and footbridge at La Villita. The mural was designed by Thomas M. Stell, Jr., and completed by Charles Francis Winans.

Now I'm back at River Walk level, which is below street level. There are many stairs you can take to access the River Walk or go back up to the street.

Houston Street stairs.
Daffodils are in bloom too.
 Some of the stairs are decorated with flower pots like the one below.

Another pass by the compass rose mosaic
Info on the Compass Rose Mosaic
 Yesterday I was lost, apparently today I am found!

The lost has been found! LOL.
Coming up from the River Walk to Main Plaza, the San Fernando Cathedral makes your jaw drop. If you do this walk, make sure to look inside the cathedral.
San Fernando Cathedral
Fountain in front of the cathedral.
 Signs say don't step on them.
If you go into the courtyard to the left of the cathedral, you will see a few extra things. One of those things is the Nuestra Senora de las Flores. 

Nuestra Senora de las Flores
St. Anthony de Padua
As I head back, I notice this cement artwork on a building across the street? Could it be Pianta's work? We may never know because Pianta was a subcontractor and there are not records of all his works. 

Just an aside: As I sit and write my blog, Bowie keeps my company right next to my computer.
Again today, the walk went through Market Square (El Mercado). As I was approaching Market Square, I caught up to two women doing the walk, both of whom are from Maryland. It seems I was destined to meet women from Maryland (Melissa and Barbara) on this walking weekend!

The panaderia (bakery) at Mi Tierra drew me in once again. I ordered more of the coconut pecan cookies (delish!), a couple of boot-shaped cookies (meh), and two Danish (one pineapple and one apple) which were so-so.
Interior of Mi Tierra (bakery counter)
It's always festive at Mi Tierra
Mariachi Bar at Mi Tierra
The extensive bakery

After waiting about 15 minutes in the bakery line, I was finally free to continue my walk. There was a checkpoint at one end of Market Square. After getting my Volksmarch books stamped, I continued the three-block walk back to the Holiday Inn.

High-school students from St. John Paul II in New Braunfels volunteered at this checkpoint. Thank you to our volunteers from other clubs who helped us out this weekend. It wouldn't have been the same without you.
Brody from St. John Paul II school in New Braunfels,
and Susan Noonan from West Texas Trail Walkers. 
Dianthus and begonias
Mi Tierra Restaurant y Panaderia
Decorative concrete statue
 A colorful pansy bowl

Another concrete sculpture

A pretty flower "fountain" outside La Margarita,
Mi Tierra's sister restaurant
Below is a tile mural depicting the fun events that take place at Market Square.

Market Square's south entrance
As I returned to the Holiday Inn, I noticed this plaque outside the front door. This is Holiday Inn #1000 which was officially opened in San Antonio in August 1968, the year of Hemisfair.

After the walk, I went home and took a long nap! Speaking of sleep, it's time for bed tonight. Enjoy the rest of your week. Travel Bug out.