I am the alpha and the omega
September 29, 2004
Cooper's Metalaw
A proliferation of new laws creates a proliferation of new loopholes.

The San Antonio Trip

(Refer http://photos.yahoo.com/sathishcj/ and the San Antonio Directory. I will be referring to that.)

It started as a wonderful day - at 6am. A trifle too early for me, but I still managed to get up before the first of the 4 alarms I had set (staggered by 5 minutes each) rang. And then proceeded on to persuade my room mate who would accompany on the trip to wake up. I could have as well have chosen to wake up Kumbhakarna.

The regular morning ablutions later, minus the jogging, I got ready, and armed with a digital camera which I had mentioned earlier, I proceeded on to the pick up point - at 7:30 am.

A roll call later. I was on the coach (that would have put the inside of a Business class section of a plane, to shame), which started promptly 10 minutes late. Going south and smooth on the I-35, the 70 mile distance to San Antonio was covered in an hour and a quarter. Snacks - Donut holes, pastries and cheese strings fed our stomachs while rolling plains and mild vales, interrupted occasionally by the passing village fed our eyes. While many did manage to sleep, I could not. I am not a bus-sleep person.

First stop was the Institute of Texan Cultures. A museum and a cultural institute. The biggest draw there, was the full T-Rex on display. Other displays included the various cultures and minorities that have settled in Texas. The photos of Bison, Globe and the Chariot were taken there. AFter a fruitfulless hour and a half, I came out to face cloudy skies. Thats where the Tower of the Americas 1 was snapped - a tall 75 floor tower.

Then came the Mexican market El Mercado. Lots of Mexican Stuff. Lots of little trinkets. Lots of dollars spent there. (A gift for somebody and the lunch). At around 1, there was this dance by a troupe representing the various states of Mexico - thats where Dance 1 and Dance 2 were snapped. Colorful dresses, colorful Spanish ballet. Impressive performance.

Soon we're shuttled to the The Alamo - a memorial to defeated Texan soldiers during their only war agains the Mexicans eons back. No cameras allowed inside.
After coming out, I took a bite at that Statute. It just looked nice, in its marble encampment.

And after that peacefulness, we're given 5 hours to roam around the city and come back at 7pm.
How to spend 5 hours in an unknown city, without ending up spending too much money.
Suggestions given: Riverwalk - which was what San Antonio was famous for.

Imagine Venice's canals, but slightly cleaner, more trees, more people, space for people to walk by, and restaurants selling delicious food right up to the water's edge and towered by tall hotels, malls and convention centers on both sides. Thats Riverwalk for you.
Initially, we just walked along it for a mile, without realising the significance of some of the buildings. And snaps melted away. Riverwalk 1 to Riverwalk 3 were taken at that time. That statues was on a bridge crossing the Riverwalk. And I wanted to be sandwiched between the Red Statue and the Tower of the Americas. IT was a pretty good job.
Then I decided that we needed to go on the barge which took people around. So for $6.50 each, we got on one. And for me, luckily, the first seat.

Riverwalk 4 - Floodwater drain canal.
Riverwalk 5 - A huge hotel, whose front looked like the bow of a ship.
Riverwalk 6 - A line of restaurnats.
Riverwalk 7 - A man-made waterfall, marred by iron grilles.
Riverwalk 8 - Glass Aerobridge of the Convention Center

After that was over, we headed to the RiverCenter Mall - RiverCenter Mall 1. 125 stores and an IMAX theatres did not make me weak to shop. So I just ended up window shopping.
RiverCenter Mall 2 contrasts the glass facade of RiverCenter Mall with the concrete face of the Marriott hotel in the background.

At around 5:45 pm (Time did really fly very fast there), we ended up walking towards the Tower of the Americas. 15 minutes and 8$ later lesser, we're at the top - at the 57th floor, and at a height of 750 ft. It was a bit gusty up there, and a bit of a low pressure too. But got a bird's eye view of the city. Tower of the Americas 2 and 3 illustrate just that. You can just make out that red statue in the middle of Tower of the Americas 2.

Half hour on city-gazing later - thank god I didnt have Acrophobia - We returned towards the coach. On the dot of 7pm. And a hour of a monotonous drive later, interrupted by the occasional packs of fries and Cheetos I was back where I started. In Austin. At 8:30pm.

To sum up, 160 miles and 13 hours later, 45$ poorer, 40 snaps lesser and a pound lesser, I rounded up a very nice and worthwile journey to San Antonio. True, I didnt get to go to Six Flags, Fiesta Texas or the Zoo or the Sea World.
But, inspite of that, I had a whale of a time.

And what I did after that extremely tiring journey may surprise you - I spent five hours in the freezer lab and was doing an assignment until 3 in the morning. ;)

Posted by satosphere at 1:13 PM


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