Wednesday, November 16, 2011

San Antonio River walk

There is no doubt that the River walk in San Antonio is the best thing in San Antonio, in fact with out the River walk the city would be a bit of a wasteland.  Back in 1921 An architect named Robert Hugman had a vision of how the river could become an asset to the city instead of a detriment as it was prone to flooding. 

Though it took many years and a lot of work that would probably be considered ecologically incorrect today it has created a haven in the middle of the city.  It is damned to to the north and is really more of a canal today than a river, the path has been diverted to suit the planners rather than the natural flow of the river.

The loop that goes through down town reminded me a bit of Disneyland with nothing but restaurants, hotels and tourist shops.  In fact there is no grocery store withing walking distance of down town, easy to buy a tshirt, a souvenir mug, a bag of corn chips or even a bottle of wine but no fruits and vegetables or any real food.

It surprised us that other than the tourist tour boats and water taxis there is no other traffic on the river, we asked one of the water taxi drivers and he said that it was owned by the city and nobody else was allowed to have a boat on the river. 

On the Downtown loop of the River walk
 Though through the down town it is very Disneyfied and crowded in the afternoons and evenings, to the south of the centre it quickly becomes rural and there are very few people.

 We spent an afternoon cycling down south of the city on the very cheap and convenient B Bikes which operate much like Bixi bikes in Montreal and can picked up at several stations around the city

  It was a beautiful ride very peaceful and thankfully for my knees flat.  We saw a lot of interesting birds and many turtles sunning themselves on the rocks.

There must have been a fair bit of fish in the river as these birds were constantly diving and catching fish

We cycled down to first of 3 missions south of the City Mission Concepcion This was supposed to be the most intact of the three, but as the temperature was getting in to the 80's we decided to retreat back to the city for a Margarita and took their word for it.

Mission Concepcion
Though the River walk in the evening downtown was crowded and full of tourists, it was a good place to go for a walk and there was great people watching potential.

And some stretches were much quieter than others, but all areas were safe and every evening we walked around the riverside walk after dinner, even have dinner on it one evening, we enjoyed the warm summer like evenings not envying our friends at home shivering in the rain.

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