The oppressive heat is beginning to abate and Texan’s can now contemplate spending more than a few seconds outside.
With that thought in mind we decided to take a trip over to San Antonio and do the missions trail before Bunny has to head back home to Canada.
All of the missions are along the San Antonio River, with the first one being the Alamo.
We skipped the Alamo because we’ve seen it a million times. Plus it’s in downtown San Antonio and it’s hard to get a feel for real history when busses full of tourists are zipping past.
On to the second mission, Mission Concepcion. Click on the link if you want all the deets.
The original buildings had frescos painted on some of the walls.
Notice the blending of Christian, Spanish, and Native American influence.
This is from the back of the Convento. You can barely see the top of the church.
Since we went on Sunday, they were holding a regular service. While I was snapping these pictures I could hear rejoicing worshippers! Very nice.
I love scale models, don’t you.
A little further down river, we came to Mission San Jose which was everyone’s favorite because of its numerous architectural features.
If you want to get a real feel for a Colonial Spanish Mission then this is the one to see.
The entire property has been preserved. And, it is huge. I snapped this scale drawing so you could see how huge it is.
At Mission San Jose many of the rooms have been restored and they give a sense of life in a Colonial Spanish Mission.
Because this mission is so well-preserved we were able to get a good picture of everyday life.
The most striking thing is how they had created a highly sustainable lifestyle. An example would be redirecting the river to bring water to the mission and also to run a mill.
Next stop, Mission San Juan. This mission was mostly ruins and undergoing some renovations.
Even with the scaffolding, you can still see the beautiful colonial architecture.
Last stop, Mission Espada.
This one is interesting because it is an active Franciscan community.
We actually visited with Brother Jim who has a glass-making studio on site. Some very beautiful jewelry and crosses. (no pics, I thought it would be kind of cheeky)
Notice the well-cared for plants and flowers, evidence of the active life of this community.
A couple miles up river is an aqueduct that was built for this community. It has been restored, but was pretty impressive in size and scale.
We finished off our day with gluten-free waffles at the Little Aussie Bakery followed by a stroll through a used book store.
I even ran into a friend who was doing a bike tour of the missions.