We weren’t quite done with Houston yet, we had one more place on our itinerary: the museum of natural science.
One of the most breathtaking aspects to the museum is their enormous collection of precious stones. The gem depicted here on the right is one of the few that I managed to photograph without blurring.
Other parts to the museum included the dinosaur exhibit and some hands-on science exhibits around (what else but) oil mining and production.
Halfway into San Antonio from Houston, we stopped off at the San Jacinto monument in a little place near La Porte. While we were there, we took a few moments to pay our respects to an icon of Texas warfare: the USS Texas.
The Texas (BB-45) is a “dreadnaught” battleship, commissioned back in 1914. At the time, her enormous 14″ guns made her the most powerful weapon in the world for many years. Even after she was refitted back in 1921, she was still a formidable force to be reckoned with on the open sea and is the only surviving U.S. Naval vessel to have been in both World Wars.
The actual monument at San Jacinto (pictured on the right here) commemorates the famous Texas battle in which General Sam Houston comprehensively beat the Mexican president: Santa Anna. This battle was to be the turning point in the Texas revolution.
For his victory in this infamous battle, Sam Houston became the first and only president of the republic of Texas after which he became governor for the newly incorporated state of Texas when it became a part of the United States.
The rallying cry that roused Houston’s men at the battle of San Jacinto was “remember the Alamo”. We have all heard those words before, but where do they come from? Well, the battle of the Alamo took place one month earlier in the very town that was to be our final destination.
The image on the left is one of the fortifying walls to the Alamo mission at San Antonio. At this historic site, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis and a small group of Texas rebels were besieged for 12 days by Mexican forces and finally overcome by sheer attrition. Among the notable greats who met their demise in that battle was the immortal David Crockett.
San Antonio is an historic city, with a number of beautiful historic missions dotted around the city. I took many pictures of the missions and they can be seen here in this slide show of the San Antonio Missions.
Although San Antonio’s is an historic city, our favourite part of the city was not a battle sight, but was rather the beautiful river walk. The river walk runs along the picturesque banks of the San Antonio river. We spent most of our time leisurely walking up and down the river, enjoying the flowers, the beautiful Christmas lights and the margaritas. I encourage you to have a look at my slideshow of the riverwalk at San Antonio.