Visiting Old San Juan
23 February 2019 | Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Today we traveled via rental car from the Sun Bay Marina in Fajardo, Puerto Rico to Old San Juan. Puerto Rico's capital is rich in historic significance. The island's position in the West Indies gave it strategic significance for Spain, England, and eventually the United States for monitoring and guarding traffic from and to Europe and Central America, particularly Panama and the Panama Canal. Spain used its port for provisioning, water, and protection for the movement of gold and silver. The United States used the island particularly during World War II to guard the area against Germany's U-boats. The massive Fort Morro protected Spain's position up until when rifled howitzer's were invented, and forts were no longer a viable protection against attack. Puerto Rico seems to have recovered from Hurricane Maria in 2017 in many ways: electricity, water, daily provisions, most buildings, etc. But many people have left the island, many small businesses have not survived because of fewer customers, and there are still two or three in ten buildings with unrepaired visible damage. Some local traffic lights have been unoperational for the last few years, even before the hurricane. The marina we are staying in is full service: finger docks, fuel, water, electricity, WiFi, restrooms/showers, laundry, rental cars, security (including US Customs). All in all, it's good to be back in the USA.