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San Antonio · January 2015

Guenther House   The Alamo   Concepcion Mission   San José Mission   The Cathedral   Memorial Plaza   Fairmount Hotel  
We arrived in disappointing weather--cold, cloudy, rainy--and for most of our visit those conditions prevailed. The exterior shots tend to have white skies and look dull. I concentrated on interiors as much as I could. Getting home was an adventure, too, but we loved the performance of Strauss's Salomé (with Patricia Racette) we went there to see and we thought the Spanish missions and The Alamo were worth the trip. We also found some excellent food and a lot of friendly people. With 1.7 million residents, San Antonio is America's 7th largest city. It is larger than Dallas (#9), San Diego (#8), and San Jose (#10). Texas suitably has three of the 10 largest cities (Houson is #4).
The Guenther House

We did not intend to dress like twins, but we kept running into this problem.

The house (with a very good restaurant) is next to the flour mill (White Wings flour). The Blue Star arts-crafts shops nearby are talked up
in the guidebooks but we were underwhelmed. Nice mural, though, rendering neighborhood churches and the flour mill, and we got the blue part.

From there we drove around the splendid King William historic district, some marvelous houses (and some not so great), but it was too dismal to take pictures. So on to The Alamo it was.

No interior pictures allowed; we saw a sensational demonstration of firearms from the 1800s inside what was once the church (the main building), and the Long Barrack was also impressive.
The Alamo Cenotaph (Spirit of Sacrifice), 1939.

Somebody taught their dogs to climb trees; pretty fearless.
Here and there, the theater of old-time San Antone. Lots of great brick buildings from the 19th century around downtown. Out in the country, Lonestar has strong feelings about customer loyalty.

Conception is the first of the four Spanish missions spaced about 3 miles apart leading south from the Alamo. It contains the most unrestored art and architecture.
San José is much larger and fully restored; it gives the best idea of what the missions looked like--living quarters for the natives
surrounding craft areas and adjacent to the living quarters of the Franciscan friars.
The central portion has been heavily restored.
We have to imagine it bright with color, blue, white, pink.
Some of the original painted plaster, which once covered the entire church. In 1750,
this structure would have towered over the landscape and shone brilliantly in the sun.
The cathedral and courthouse
The remains of some who died at the Alamo in 1838 are interred here
  The river walk, pretty even on a gloomy day

Veterans Memorial Plaza and the Tobin Center

Good for them for having a Korean War memorial, very unusual
A harrowing Viet Nam memorial  

Nearby, a memorial to the Confederacy with a goofy art exhibition
Near the airport, sunshine and color

What a treat the Fairmount Hotel was! Warm!