The second day in San Antonio began, after a sumptous breakfast of toast,fruits and egg, with visits to the historic missions.
A chain of five missions were built in the 18Th century in Texas mainly to acculturate and Christianize the native population and make them Spanish citizens. Built primarily to expand Spanish New World influence northward from Mexico, the missions also served to introduce native inhabitants into Spanish society.
The picture shows Mission Concepcion. This is the only mission church in San Antonio, Texas, that has never collapsed. However, the colorful geometric designs that originally covered the exterior surface of the mission cannot be seen today. This colourful building is said to have been the most attractive one at its time as there was no other obstruction in its vicinity, nwith the patterns and its elegance the mission was a real eye-catcher.
Next we visited the Mission San Jose. Here we were shown a movie on the lives of red Indians, their culture, their lives,their civilization. They once lived in Texas content and in peace.However they soon had to succumb to the Spanish n other European kings. These kings were just to the natives n did not make them slaves but gave them rights on their land and the crops they produced.
But they were unfortunate and declined due to inadequate military support, disease, and increased hostilities with Apaches and Comanches. However their memories are still etched on these lands n we got to hear a lot about their stories from our guide.
All these monuments have been maintained very well and the courtyard behind Alamo is a beautiful place. It is adorned with a garden and is situated right in the heart of the city and hence was pretty crowded with tourists and devotees.(mardi gras is a famous festival here too.)
The most famous of all attractions in San Antonio was next - The River walk. The San Antonio river has many channels and the city is proud to have even a boat taxi.There is a boat ride which is a must on ur visit to San Antonio. The cheerful boat captain gleefully welcomes us n says"The best seats are the red ones!!" I happily look around to find all sets are painted red. lol!
On the river walk is a river centre mall which is a very romantic place.. so many restaurants with seats on the river side..The very ambiance is enough to make an evening memorable!!!
The guide had many stories to tell us about the places and landmarks we saw, the movies which had been shot there(Miss Congeniality, Selena) and the history behind many of the buildings. I also got to know about the flood in 1929 which had affected the city majorly and also the time when the stock markets bombarded and a building worth 3 billion dollars was auctioned out for mere 27 k. :(
There was more San Antonio had to offer us but as we had leaked out of time, we had to pack up and start back. And i began my journey back home with a heart full of pleasant memories, capturing the river, the bridges, the lights, the people, the boatman and watever i cud gather in my mind till we would go again visiting the beautiful city of San Antonio..