Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #127: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site

Posted by on April 12, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #127: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site

UNESCO World Heritage Site #127: La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site

From the World Heritage inscription:

The main elements of the massive fortification of San Juan are La Fortaleza, the three forts of San Felipe del Morro, San Cristóbal and San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo), and a large portion of the City Wall, built between the 16th and 19th centuries to protect the city and the Bay of San Juan. They are characteristic examples of the historic methods of construction used in military architecture over this period, which adapted European designs and techniques to the special conditions of the Caribbean port cities. La Fortaleza (founded in the early 16th century and considerably remodelled in later centuries) reflects developments in military architecture during its service over the centuries as a fortress, an arsenal, a prison, and residence of the Governor-General and today the Governor of Puerto Rico.

San Juan is the second oldest city in the Western Hemisphere after Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The old city of San Juan still has the feel of a Spanish Colonial city. The fortifications of the city are still mostly intact and served to defend the San Juan harbor. Tip: If you visit the old city of San Juan, make sure to stop by Carli’s Bistro and listen to former Beach Boy keyboard player Carli Munoz play jazz.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Travel Anxiety: That feeling in your stomach before you travel

Posted by on April 12, 2011

Ta Som Temple, Angkor, CambodiaI’m leaving for Europe in a few days where I’ll spend the better part of three months visiting a whole lot of places I’ve never been before.

Believe it or not, despite four years of traveling and having visited almost 100 countries, I still get a bit of anxiety before I visit someplace new.

It isn’t the same sort of rush I had when I first started out, but there is definitely feeling you have before you visit somewhere new.

Not having been somewhere, no matter how much you talk to people who have been there before you, there are still unknowns that you will not find out until you hit the ground.

  • How will I deal with the local language?
  • How expensive will things be?
  • Will I have good weather?
  • Will my bank hold my credit card?
  • Did I forget to pack something?

Having been through this dozens of times it really isn’t that big of a deal for me, but I’d also be lying to you if I said that it didn’t exist at all.

For people who don’t have much experience traveling, these pre-trip doubts can be debilitating. There is so much worry and doubt that they end up doing nothing and never leave the places they are comfortable with. I’ve had many conversations with people who would love to travel but are so wracked with worry and doubt they never do it.

For me, I can always get over it by rationalizing that I am not the first person to visit anywhere. In the case of some places, millions of people have been there before me and managed just fine.

If you are a traveler, how do you get past the anxiety of visiting a new place?

If you want to travel more, what is holding you back?