Day 86 – Austin to San Antonio & The Alamo

We are now firmly in Bible Belt country and everywhere you go there’s Christian Colleges and religious slogans on cars, buildings and billboards. I also didn’t realise that Texas is decidedly Southern and from Dallas onwards we’ve seen catfish, shrimp, grits and Po’boys appear on menus everywhere – and chicken wings have almost entirely disappeared, to my chagrin! On the radio all you get now are either country or religious stations and the roads are on the whole big and boring – with dangerous drivers! Maybe this is an area where we should have headed off the beaten path a bit more and driven the smaller roads between smaller towns, who knows? It is hard to know what else is out there as we are mostly sticking to the bigger towns and the interstates getting us from one place to the next.
Austin to San Antonio is only 80 miles so we didn’t get away too early. It was yet another boring interstate journey though we stopped at a Whataburger for brunch and Brian had a double cheese burger, while I had a patty melt (2 burger patties, mushrooms, fried onions, swiss cheese on 2 slices of bread). The burgers were pretty good for fast food and very BIG, especially considering I also had a Texas shaped waffle for breakfast! Like I said to Brian, at least this trip had cured my hankering for a waffle iron – waffles are actually quite boring and generally not worth it, unless you have a savoury version with fried chicken! I may also be unrecognisably fat by the time I get back from this trip!
We got to the hotel fairly early and decided to hang about until our room was finally ready, just before 3pm (this allowed Brian to sort out some paperwork in their business centre). We stayed in the Best Western Sunset Suites, which was another suite, with a separate area with a pull-out couch and chair, so quite nice and big. San Antonio is of course mainly famous for The Alamo so as soon as we put our stuff down we headed out to go and see the famous landmark! As we’ve been warned, the building isn’t very big so we knew what to expect. It was still interesting though, with nice gardens and surrounds. From there we didn’t expect much more from San Antonio, but I’d seen the River Walk on my map so we decided to explore it. The River Walk was a very pleasant surprise and takes you away from the streets above and the beating sun to an area with canals below street level. The canals are lined with walkways, restaurants, bars and hotels and it is a very pleasant area to walk around in. We found a bar called The Esquire Tavern that had happy hour on and I tried two of their cocktails, both of which were rather interesting! Brian stuck to Lone Star beer! I could happily have stayed there all day but it was still quite early so we continued on our walk and caught happy hour at Cafe Ole before exiting back to street level again, where we found another interesting bar called Sirius, which seemed much more of a local bar. From there we headed towards our hotel, and another local bar next to the hotel called Alibis which was VERY local! It was another quite interesting place with beer kept in a big ice filled bucket and the bar itself in an old house. By that time we’d had more than enough so went back to our room to enjoy the nice suite and relax.

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