San Juan Puerto Rico: Castillo San Felipe del Morro

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

El Morro Fort, or officially Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, stands guard at the entrance to San Juan harbor as a reminder of a by-gone era when invading countries would attempt sea attacks to take this prized city and harbor.

El Morro Lookout

This beautiful 6-level fort was named in honor of Spain’s King Philip II. The Fort wasn’t initially built as the huge structure that you see today. It has gone through many enlargements and modifications, from the time it was first constructed by Spain through the time that it was occupied by the US Army.

Sunset at El Morro

The garitas, or sentry boxes, are located all around the outer walls of the fort. There are a number of them that you can go into. These garitas have become a cultural symbol of Puerto Rico – you will see their images on many things, from license plates to shot glasses to tee shirts. These make wonderful pictures.

 

In 1493, Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in Spanish) “discovered” Puerto Rico and claimed it for Spain. A little known fact is that Columbus called the whole island San Juan, in honor of Saint John the Baptist. Puerto Rico (puerto = “port” and rico = “rich”) was the name given to what is known today as the Old San Juan area. It was only later that the names were reversed and the whole island became known as Puerto Rico.

Sunset San Juan

The San Juan harbor is naturally deep and safe, and Puerto Rico is in a strategic location, so it seemed that everyone wanted to call San Juan their own. After Spain claimed the island and started colonizing it, many pirates and privateers tried to invade to get the island and some of Spain’s riches! So Spain always had to fight to keep claim to the island.

After the original fort Fortaleza (now the Governor’s mansion) was deemed to be inadequate protection for the harbor, it was decided that a fort was needed in a better location. So they built a small structure at the north-west tip of Old San Juan, at the entrance to the harbor, on the current site of El Morro. Built between 1539-1540, it was a small fort that held a few men and only 4 cannons.

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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U.S.V.I. St. John

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more photos of St. John, click on the photos.

St. John is the smallest of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands, which are located in the Caribbean Sea. 

Virgin Islands National Park occupies more than half the island. Its forests shelter resident and migratory birds, including cuckoos, warblers and hummingbirds. The mangroves at Hurricane Hole, in the east, support corals and anemones. Dolphins inhabit the island’s waters, which also host hawksbill and green turtles.

 

With 60% of its land area comprising a pristine national park, St. John is as far away as you can get from civilization, but still be just a short distance from upscale jewelry stores and boutiques. A visit to St. John is a must for those seeking true escape.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico : San Juan Scenes

Photography by Gary Wonning
San Juan is the capital and most populous city in Puerto Rico. Founded in 1521 by Juan Ponce de León, who named it City of Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The capital of Puerto Rico is the oldest city under U.S. jurisdiction, but some people argue than St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565 is the oldest city in the continental United States.

Click on the photos below for more beautiful pictures of Puerto Rico

The history of San Juan begins a long time before its official foundation, in 1493, during his second voyage, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico. He named the island “San Juan Bautista“, in honor of John the Baptist. But was not until 1508, that the Spanish government appointed Juan Ponce de León as the first governor of the island. He founded the original settlement in Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area and the city quickly became Spain’s most important military outpost in the Caribbean.

A year later, the original settlement was relocated to a nearby coastal islet (to the site of what is now called Old San Juan) and named Puerto Rico (Rich Port). Sometime during the 1520s, confusion over the names led to a switch, the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the town became San Juan.

This is a 500-year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. The city includes more than 400 carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings.

The Alcaldia (San Juan’s City Hall), started construction in 1602, completed in 1789. In the 1840’s the building was heavily remodeled providing its present day facade intended by its builders to be an exact replica of Madrid’s. The building has a tourism information center and a small gallery for periodic exhibitions.

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Puerto Rico: Bacardi Distillery

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Bacardi was initially founded in Cuba in 1862. After many years of conflict with the Cuban government during which time members of the family were jailed for their opposition to the government, they moved their headquarter to Bermuda and established a distillery in Puerto Rico.

More photos of Puerto Rico

In 1964 Bacardi opened its new US headquarters in Miami, Florida. Exiled Cuban architect Enrique Gutierrez created a building that was hurricane-proof, using a system of steel cables and pulleys which allow the building to move slightly in the event of a strong shock. The steel cables are anchored into the bedrock and extend through marble-covered shafts up to the top floor, where they are led over large pulleys. Outside, on both sides of the eight-story building, more than 28,000 tiles painted and fired by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennard, depicting abstract blue flowers, were placed on the walls according to the artist’s exact specifications

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

The Beauty of Sarasota Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

Located on the west coast of Florida, about an hour south of Tampa, Sarasota is a beautiful city. Aside from the white quartz crystal sandy beach, it has much beauty to offer. 

A view of the sunset behind sail boats and the John Ringling Bridge taken from Island Park near downtown Sarasota

 

The ever popular dolphin fountain in Island Park lit up by colorful lights at dusk.

 

A photographer taking advantage of the sunset behind Ringling Bridge.

 

Marina Jacks is  a popular restaurant/bar where you can have a sandwich or a complete meal. There are also lunch and dinner cruises available.

 

A view of downtown Sarasota from across Sarasota Bay.

 

The daylight version of the popular dolphin fountain.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

San Juan Puerto Rico Harbor

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Journeysthrulife photography. 

The Port of San Juan’s passenger facilities are located along San Antonio Canal. Of the 15 piers in the channel, four accommodate cruise ships while others serve cargo vessels and the Cataño Ferry.

One of the most modern and beautiful harbors in the Caribbean, Port of San Juan plays host to hundreds of cruise ships yearly. As many as ten thousand cruise passengers or more  can visit Puerto in a single day.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and San Juan is its urban hub. The city, by and large, is divided into new and old. The new includes a business district and outlying neighborhoods, concentrated with hotel chains like Isla Verde. The old is, of course, the historic city within ancient walls.

The fortress of El Morro guards the harbor today much the same as it did against long-gone Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. 

A cruise ship docked at Port of San Juan

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.
Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.
Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.
http://www.travelnsnap.com
Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.
What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.
To contact Gary:
journeysthrulife@gmail.com.
http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Fort Lauderdale: Port Everglades

 

Originally known as Lake Mabel, Port Everglades was officially established as a deep water harbor in 1927 and has since grown to become one of South Florida’s strongest economic engines with annual operating revenues of more than $66 million and total waterborne commerce exceeding 23 million tons in liquid, bulk and containerized cargoes.

More than 5,300 ships call at Port Everglades in a year forming the basis of a diverse maritime operation that includes a thriving cruise industry and a reputation as the “world’s best cruise port,”

On December 21, 2003, the port had a record 15 cruise ships.[8] No other port in the world at that time had hosted 10 or more cruise ships on a single day. The closest competitors are: Port of Barcelona with 9 ships the 26 of August 2011 Miami with 8 ships and Port of New York with 7 ships on a single day.

Port Everglades broke its own world record on November 26, 2011, with more than 53,500 guests passing through the Port in a single day.[9] The previous record was set on March 20, 2010, with 53,365 passengers.[10] In 2010, Port Everglades documented 55 cruise ships offering regularly scheduled cruises. With 15 different cruise lines, Port Everglades claims to offer more cruise lines, more sailings, and more itineraries than any other port in the world.[11]

 

Fort Lauderdale is a city on Florida’s southeastern coast, known for its beaches and boating canals. The Strip is a promenade running along oceanside highway A1A. It’s lined with upscale outdoor restaurants, bars, boutiques and luxury hotels. Other attractions include the International Swimming Hall of Fame, with pools and a museum of memorabilia, and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, featuring trails and a lagoon.

Cruise ship in Port Everglades

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.