Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

DSCN2570Strolling Old San Juan feels like visiting Europe, including the collision of heavy tourist traffic with stately old buildings. Narrow streets, statues, flocks of begging pigeons, wrought-iron railings–but huge American cars are squeezed onto the tiny roads. And it’s hot and humid. With the occasional tropic downpour.

There are a few heavily touristed streets, but when you get off that oh-so-trodden path, it’s quite charming. The whole place can be walked in a day, with fortifications from the various street vendors selling deep-fried goodies, ice cream and exotic snow cones.

I had my first sesame flavored snow cone. It will be my last. Imagine thin sweet tahini over crushed ice. As always, I’m happy to have tried something completely out of my usual sphere, even though it will doubtless stay there.

A more reliable–and expensive–frozen treat is the Pina Colada, alleged to have been invented in Old San Juan.