Today was a day on foot rather than in car, and I’m feeling the difference tonight. However, my mission to San Antonio was a success and I was able to get a photo of the Alamo facade. It’s for a specific use, so I won’t be publishing it here, but I have another photo or two…or three…or so…that I’ll provide for your edification.
San Antonio is a beautiful city. A block from the hotel is La Villita, an old Texas village made into artist shops, and on the other side of it, the Riverwalk. This lovely meandering walk follows the natural course of the San Antonio river as it flows through the city. It exists as a result of an organized effort by the women of San Antonio to preserve the River’s natural boundaries, and also to prevent the River from being converted into a sewer system. Now it’s a wonderous place of color and music and restaurants, not to mention a place for various plays and other events.
Across the street from the hotel is the Hemisfair Park, including the Tower of the Americas, which I’ll visit another day. A couple of blocks from there is the center of San Antonio tourism — the famous Alamo.
The Alamo was packed — people literally everywhere. It would be nice if there was a way to connect disparate pieces of online information rather than have to gather it all together, manually. For instance, I could pick my destination to visit and provide the date, and find a hotel in San Antonio using Hotwire, and then get explicit driving directions from Mapquest. However, a third component would have event infomration that would then provide me a warning that the weekend I picked also happens to be the weekend before the famous Alamo Bowl, one of the highly popular college Bowl games.
I thought about taking one of the river boat rides, until I saw the line.
In spite of the crowds, though, there’s always a quiet place you can get away to, to relax or to play.
I ended up having lunch at a Mexican food place, sitting at a table by the river. However, other diners preferred different cuisine.
The newspapers in the stands all around the area I walked today were full of the story of the tragedy in Iran. One had headlines that read, “Apocalypse in Iran!”, an accurate term because of the near total devastation of Bam. An odd term to pick, too, considering the religious connotations associated with the term, apocalypse.
My heart goes out to the families of the thousands who were killed, and all those left homeless or hurt. When you read how the town has had a rebirth recently and had been thriving, it’s destruction is that much more bitter. Our history is also left poorer at the devastation of a temple that has lasted through the ages — 2000 years old, and now, totally destroyed. Look at the photos to better understand this loss, and though we say that the cost of human life far exceeds that of a bunch of mud bricks, the loss of history, and heritage can have an impact on the people, long after the tears are dried. Bam may be rebuilt, but it will no longer be Bam.
Heritage. This was never more understandable than when walking about the Alamo here in San Antonio, a modern building by comparison but no less symbolic to a people, and not just people in the US if the visitors were any indication.
(Of course, the story of the Alamo is one of ‘bravery in the face of oppression’, but there is always more to a story then the first one you hear; however I’m too tired tonight and that will have to wait another day.)
I am so glad that the national community, including the US, is helping the people in Iran — but we should have been there ten years ago, helping the people to bolster their homes and hospitals and heritage after the last devastating earthquake.
But that’s a story of boundaries, which will, also, wait another day. Tomorrow I drive home. By the way, during the trip I received news that a publisher has accepted my book proposal. I’m back in business.