[Puerto Rico] Strolling Through Old San Juan

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In anticipation of my next trip to Puerto Rico (this week!!!), here are some pictures of my last stroll through Old San Juan back during the beginning of the year. We were hunting down the sunset and even though clouds got in the way, the journey itself was worth it. Shout out to Señor Paleta, a cool popsicle shop in Old San Juan that offers delicious island flavors like coconut and even strawberry mojito. Their popsicles are great, but I also enjoy their branding. They’ve established a fun and approachable community, go check them out! Can’t wait to be home very soon!!!
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5 Places I am Thankful for

I love this time of year. There are so many reasons to celebrate, be with family and EAT. In spite of everything people have to say about Thanksgiving and how we are superficial for celebrating one day and then shopping our lives away the rest of the season, I still love this day.

This year, I decided to  count my blessings in the form of places, thankful for everything these places represent and what they have offered me.

IMG_13055. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

The oldest settlement in Puerto Rico, this old town is full of wonders. You can’t get bored in Old San Juan. You can find all types of food, from food trucks to fancy latin fusion cuisine. You can also find all sorts of drinks, from Puerto Rican “moonshine” or “chichaito” to a classic passion fruit sangría. I am thankful for all the fun times Old San Juan has given me, from late night with friends to fun days with family, it all happens here.

 4. Strasbourg, France

Yes, I love Paris and all of its enchantment. Still, I am completely biased to Strasbourg. This city in the region of Alsace, just minutes away from Germany, is very underrated. The unique fusion you find here is quite incomparable. L’Alsace for dummies? Like if France and Germany had a baby, but of course, there is so much more to it. I am thankful for Strasbourg’s culture and history, this city opened my eyes to so many things and I will always be thankful for that. Thanks to Strasbourg and my wonderful host family, I also discovered my true love for food.

 3. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is always on my list. It is a special city I am always waiting to return to. Have only been there for a few days, but I fell in love with it. I’m thankful for this city’s vibrant colors, inspiring architecture and delicious food.

 2. New York, New York

Ah, where to begin with this little gem? I have a love/hate relationship with this city. It is easy to forget it’s electric magic when you are deep in the trenches questioning your life choices, but this place makes you better and stronger by just being there. I am thankful for everything this city inspires me to be and for all the food from the world I have at my reach. New York, you make me stronger and wiser with each passing day.

20131226-170718.jpg1. Puerto Rico

You think I would limit Puerto Rico to just Old San Juan? Wrong. Puerto Rico is my favorite place in the world. I doubt any of the places in my bucket list could ever change that. I am thankful for Puerto Rico’s people, we are not perfect, but we are pretty awesome. I am thankful for the incredible ecological diversity you can find in this little island. I’m thankful for all the amazing food you can taste here, from my mother’s cooking to the many restaurants that offer hundreds of plantain plate varieties. I am thankful for Puerto Rico because it is an intrical part of who I am.

What places are you thankful for? Would love to hear your stories!

Happy Thanksgiving!

[San Juan, Puerto Rico] La Fortaleza

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Just a simple #tbt to one of my favorite places, El Viejo San Juan. This time, close to sunset, with the colors taking a whole different beautiful light. Views like this make me miss home.

Wordless Wednesday: Adoquines

IMG_2011Catching the colors of Old San Juan while capturing that warm light of a late afternoon. Old city of wonders, with la Fortaleza creeping its blue on the back.

Photo by Cristina Nogueras

Wordless Wednesday: Adoquines

IMG_1344He patiently waits while I capture all the corners of the streets of Old San Juan, guarding my camera bag like a good sport, happily contemplating the beauty of this island we now get to explore together.

 

[Old San Juan] Castillo San Felipe del Morro

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I was listening to Ricky Martin’s new album on Spotify today (you know, as you do on your average Wednesday) and although I wasn’t quite blown away by the album, a special track really hit the spot. “Isla Bella” (which you can listen to here) is a song for all of those Puerto Ricans (like me) who are currently living away from the island but miss it sorely and attribute who they are to their roots.

I love New York, I do, but when you are from a place like Puerto Rico, it’s really hard to compare. There’s a reason why we love to brag about it, it’s really paradise and I am beyond proud to call Puerto Rico by true home.

Anyways, let’s not get too nostalgic over here, I shall be back soon enough.

Why not take this chance to share some more pictures from my last trip to Old San Juan? Go ahead, you say? Thank you.

All these pictures are from el Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, more commonly know as just “El Morro”.

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Doors of Old San Juan

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I love Old San Juan.There might be traffic to get there, parking may be tough and some alleys may have questionable smells, but Old San Juan is beautiful. From family outings on a bright sunny day, to late night bar hopping with friends trying to find the best place to dance that offered reasonable priced drinks. There might be several tourist traps here and there, but that doesn’t take away from all the magic that lies around these streets. If you don’t believe me, just look at these doors. I don’t even need my average photography skills to show you how beautiful they are. I wish I could tell you the story behind each door, but I don’t know it. I can tell you, however, that I’m pretty sure I once stayed inside one of them for one night, in my friend’s friend’s apartment with no mirrors, because he “didn’t believe in those things”.

Sure, people may talk about Dublin’s iconic doors, but my lovely Old San Juan has nothing to envy.

Photos taken and edited by Cristina Nogueras ©