We weren’t climbing again for two days. These two days were spent half at the beach in the mornings and checking out new things in the afternoons.
My favorite snack – ceviche!
In the afternoon we visited the fort at the other end of Old San Juan, Castillo de San Christóbal.
It was built 1765-1785 and is the largest Spanish fort in the Americas.
It was amazing how many different layers you could see. Some chipping and peeling paint looked from about WWII and some underneath of that looked much older.
The lighting before they were about to close was spectacular.
I was planning on posting two days together, but I suppose I will separate them, there’s too many pictures!
We planned to meet Jorge (a climber whom we met at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky) later in the day to climb in the afternoon, so the morning was more meandering through old town.
We found a lovely breakfast spot at Cafe Fortaleza.
When was the last time you saw one of these?!
The pictures don’t do it justice, the climbing was phenomenal. The limestone was pristine and unpolished.
We hiked out in the pitch black, only Jorge had a headlamp. You could hear frogs jumping out of our way since it was pretty wet and muddy.
After climbing beer at a local bar.
It was almost eerie how empty the streets were.
Since very little seemed to be open, we went to the beach for the day.
Even the Hilton was closed. We had to go from closed restaurant to closed restaurant in a deserted town to find lunch. It was like a post apocalyptic movie set. Luckily we found a pretty good fish restaurant in a mall.
Back out on the sand to digest. The people next to us on the beach had a tiny puppy that loved us now that we smelled like fried fish.
We decided to do something different this year and booked a holiday to Puerto Rico instead of being cold and stuffing our faces with Christmas cookies.
We flew down Christmas Eve and had to start exploring right away.
We didn’t have a plan, we just followed the streets up to see what we could see.
But we ended up by the San Felipe del Morro Fortress, a 16th century Spanish fort, which was open for a few more hours.
This was my first beer here on the island and it was phenomenal. It’s by Ocean Lab Brewing, I have to find more of their beers!
Sadly we have reached the end of or vacation. Our first flight in the direction of home took us back to Sweden. We didn’t want to stay at the airport so we found a quaint little town about 10k away for the evening.
Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden and is referenced a few times in Norse sagas.
It was threatening rain, but we enjoyed checking out the town.
Scattered throughout the city are ancient runestones.
The ruins of St Olof’s church.
It was perfect for just one night, and our old hotel was unique and almost creepy.
The wind is intense.
And it got even colder here, if that’s possible.
We found a path around Toompea and admired the walls.
We then went outside of the city, across the train tracks, to a cute cafe in old train cars.
The theme of the day is hot food and drinks, like the borsch I ordered.
And the hot chocolate and mulled wine.
The we braved the insane winds and checked out the water.
And finally ended up at yet another Brewdog cafe.
While they do carry a bunch of their Scottish beers, we chose local ones in bottles. The stout selection was perfect.
I got a mint stout.
And we split a stout aged in red wine barrels.
Personally, I think it’s as good or better than Prague, but with almost no tourists!
Although, it was quite chilly. About 48°F and felt like 41 with the wind, ouch.
We did quite a bit of walking around the elevated portion of the old city, Toompea, and got tons of fantastic views.
We did the tunnel museum that ran through the old battlements.
Stopped for lunch at a restaurant that I think translated to “Grandma’s kitchen.”
After lunch we went back and toured Kiek in de Kök. (Low German for “peek into the kitchen”)
More views from the top of the tower:
Beer at Koht, which specializes in Belgian beers, but we chose local.
It was starting to rain again so we walked in the direction of St Olaf’s to go to Õlleteek. I love how most of their bars here are underground.
So cozy! I got a spiced stout.