The imposing stone walls rose up before me, a sprawling giants beside the sea. But what caught my gaze was the expanse of grass rolling down from it, dotted with dozens of locals flying their kites on the ocean breeze.
On any given Sunday, you will find a good number of boricuas flying their chiringas (kites) at this very spot. It is truly a captivating scene.
But long before its family-friendly atmosphere, El Morro (also known as Castillo de San Felipe del Morro) was the scene of many an intense battle. Its troops fended off numerous attacks including one by none other than Sir Francis Drake.
I did not take a formal tour, but being a history nerd, I loved reading about the history of the place. “Financed by the Treasury of Mexico” (wonder what the terms were) and “Dysentery Among His Troops Forces Him to Abandon Puerto Rico” (what a terrible way to go) stood out.
But perhaps my favorite sign was this one on How to Fire a Cannon. Notice it is bilingual (both Spanish and English) and that the last line is “Pray to Santa Barbara, Patroness of Artillerymen, as often as desired to insure the safety of the gun crew.”
It was conveniently located next to a cannon….
In the end, what I will remember most, however, is the impressive architecture, the stunning natural backdrop and the fluttering of kites above the rolling grass with the bright blue sea beyond.