Remember the Alamo!
We have returned to Houston from San Antonio, the home of the Alamo! We travelled to San Antonio via Fredericksburg…no not the Fredericksburg of Civil War fame. Fredericksburg is a small town in the Texas Hills district north-west of Houston about 4 hours drive away. It has a German settler background and a wine industry surrounding it as well as a craft brewery and a micro brewery in the main street. People wander up and down the street with a plastic glass of beer in hand checking out the shops, Christmas nick nacks and antiques abound as well as local produce. We stopped for lunch at the Silver Creek eating house for some German fare and beer in the sun. Were entertained by a laconic bluegrass musician singing country interspersed with some hill country sayings and homely quips. Made for a sleepy onward trip to San Antonio later in the afternoon.
We arrived in San Antonio late in the day and booked into the Emily Morgan hotel which is situated right beside the Alamo. The hotel was built in the 1920s and was originally a hospital of some sort, it is 13 or 14 stories high with a dome on top. The ground floor and bar area has that old world charm with the walls adorned with pictures from the past. The rooms were comfortable but not elaborate.
Spent quite bit of time looking over the Alamo site and the various memorabilia from the time. The current Alamo area is but a small portion of the original establishment which spread over quite
a large area, the original outlying walls have long gone and the remnant buildings are basically the core of the original complex. There is a model of what the original site is thought to have looked like in a small building off the site. This model is owned by Phil Collins, the English rock star, who is a big collector of Alamo memorabilia. He gives a commentary on the site and the role played by the various buildings in conjunction with the progress of the siege in 1836 by the Mexican forces against the Texan patriots led by Travis, Bowie and Crockett. As we know from the John Wayne movie all the Alamo defenders were killed by the Mexicans. Some weeks later the Mexicans were defeated by the Texan forces and Texas became a republic in its own right before joining the United States a few years later. Saw an IMAX film reliving the battle.
The Alamo is a bit like the ANZAC tradition in Australia. Defeat at the Alamo was seen as the noble thing, defending and fighting for liberty and freedom from oppressors and forging the American way for future battles and successes. ‘Remember the Alamo’ is the battlecry!
We also had a wander around the Riverwalk area of downtown. This is not unlike a canal system that follows the old San Antonio river course through the town. It sits below street level and is lined by eateries, barges go up and down carrying tourists and visitors. Quite a pretty and busy area, lots of hustle and bustle with spruikers enticing you into their establishments. We had a really good Italian meal one night. Unfortunately the weather turned a little rainy which finished us off in time to return to the hotel and leave for Houston.