If you wish to fall in love with a person, you want to know his/her soul. The same goes for a country or a state. In order to understand and live better in a new place, I am finding chances to explore the soul of Texas. Some reading and googling made me concluded that San Antonio is the soul of ‘The Lone Star State’.
San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas after Houston with population more than 2 millions in metropolitan area. Serving as the epicenter of Tejano (a Texan of Mexican and/or Latin-American descendant) culture, this historic city today is a popular tourist spot in South Texas Plains. To name a few – The Alamo, River Walk, The Tower of the Americas are among the significant icons of San Antonio. Besides, there are several museums/galleries and row of entertainment centers along Alamo Plaza like Ripley’s and Tomb Rider.
In early 17th century or before, San Antonio River Valley was an Indian village. It was called ‘Yanaguana’ which means ‘refreshing waters’. In 1691, a group of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon this place on June 13, which was the feast day of Saint Anthony of Padova, Italy. In his honor, the name of San Antonio was derived.
We made a day trip to San Antonio and our first destination was The Alamo. The complex of Alamo is not huge but
imagine picking up 300 years of history in 3 hours, guess my brain was pretty exhausted. I took away some significant names like San Jacinto, Santa Anna, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston although I could not recall vividly the sequence of the events and the independence battles. Yet, patriotism was felt here. Strong. Intense.
Then, we strolled in the city aimlessly but at the same time heading to River Walk as our next destination, considering it as the must visit attraction in San Antonio.
On our way, we coincidentally entered a narrow street which later we found it was ‘La Villita’ which means ‘The Little Village’. This is one of the original settlements of San Antonio. It had been restored and still holds its charm with shaded patio and authentic adobe houses. In case you need a break, there are small restaurants or cafes to unwind and arts or handicraft shops for some souvenirs to take home.
Surprisingly, the city of San Antonio is not crowded on weekends. In fact, there weren’t many people and cars on the road. We continued and finally got connected to the river.
Have I found the soul of Texas? Stay tuned.