Immediately on entering Old San Juan it feels like you’ve been transported somewhere else. Many of your senses won’t tell you that you’re in the Caribbean or that you’re actually and (though I know it to be a fact) almost unbelievably in the United States. The narrow cobblestone streets and the colonial Spanish architecture of the seven square blocks in this area of San Juan is an oasis juxtaposed against the rest of a hectic, large city.
All of my senses were completely overwhelmed by the streetscapes in Old San Juan. From the vibrantly coloured buildings to the changing hues of the cobblestones as they became wet during a morning thundershower, then dried in the afternoon sun. There were palm trees, lazy stray cats and dogs and Latin rhythms coming from behind walls only inches off the sidewalks down narrow alleys. Strangers huddled tightly together under awnings to stay dry during the frequent quick downpours. The scents that wafted out of restaurants, full of garlic and onion, hung in the humid, almost oppressive late June air.
This part of the city was achingly beautiful in a way I haven’t seen before in my travels. Here are a few snaps from the streets of Old San Juan that for me, capture at least the pure physical beauty of this historic area.