I arrived in San Antonio on Saturday night after a long bus journey. The bus left El Paso in sunshine and within 45 minutes we were in the middle of the desert - brush land with an overcast sky. It was as if all the colour had been drained from the environment. It stayed like that for the next 5 hours. Gradually the colour started to come back into the landscape but it was so gradual that it was almost unnoticeable until suddenly we were back into colourful landscape about an hour outside San Antonio.
I’m glad that I don’t live in some of the towns I’ve stopped in very briefly. both on the bus and the railway. I take back what I’ve said about some of the wee towns across Central Scotland.
San Antonio is a beautiful city unlike any that I have been in. Obviously at its centre is the Alamo. Now believe it or not I do mean right at the centre as in one of the town squares. I thought that it would be on the outskirts but it’s not. It’s a site that means a great deal to Americans probably comparable to Bannockburn. However we don’t treat it with the same reverence.
Like much of old San Antonio the Alamo was saved by a group of women in the early 20th century who refused to allow the city fathers to destroy building and ares of the city which the women felt neded to be preserved. So the Alamo, an almost sacred site to Americans, doesn’t belong to the government, the state legislature or indeed the American equivalent of the National Trust but the Daughters of the Texas Revolution. The Riverwalk which stretches for almost 20 miles through and around San Antonio was also saved by the same group. Given that it is this that gives San Antonio its character today it was a very good save because if it had been covered over into an underground river the city today would be a totally different place.
Unlike many towns/cities in the Southern part of the USA on the border with Mexico many of the missions built during the 17/18th century have been preserved. Without these missions San Antonio, Santa Fe and others would not exist today.
San Antonio is a very attractive city to visit, easy to walk around in and well worth a visit.