Not far from the city center where I explored the San Antonio River Walk, The Alamo, and El Mercado marketplace, I arrived at the San Antonio Botanical Garden via the trolley system. This day of adventure started on board the trolley. This is where I met the Pentecostal women. Seriously, this is what they dubbed themselves. This sweet group of ten ladies was laughing and having a lively conversation.  They were gracious to let me join them. We enjoyed each others’ company over lunch and a stroll through the gardens.  I rank this as one of the top two advantages of solo travel…you’re more likely to connect with people along the way. The other advantage I really appreciate is the ability to change plans at a moment’s notice (no offense to my traveling buddies…there are many advantages of group travel as well). This was the third group of women I met on my San Antonio journey, and the most memorable. I’ll be sure to look them up when I get to Alabama someday. Looking forward to enjoying fish fry at one of their restaurants.

Arriving at the gardens, I looked forward to discovering its most intriguing feature…the conservatory designed by Emilio Ambasz. The cone shapes and abundance of glass surrounding a sunken courtyard are juxtaposed to the natural feeling of the gardens.

Lucile Halsell Conservatory

The gardens are on the site of a former limestone quarry and waterworks. Nice work with the conversion, I’d say.  There’s a Japanese garden with a nice stroll through the woods, rose garden, a pond with the requisite water lilies.  and a very fitting  cactus and succulent garden.   Concerts to enjoy in the summertime.  And of course the conservatory.  Let’s not forget about that.  Complete with a palm house.

The only guy I saw here

One of the Catholic Missions...errr...birdhouses?

I want these in my backyard! Fashioned after the five area missions. Turn right as you enter and look for them in the woods.

Did you know that cacti bloom? Beautiful!

Another cactus bloom. Prickly with petals.

Tempted to splash around on a hot day

Now, this trip occurred in July, so it was quite hot in the midst of the day. I used my own advice, taking it slow and drinking plenty of water. Ok, maybe this wasn’t true when I climbed the observatory tower at about 3:00 in the afternoon. I had to take a rest lest I pass out! Exhaustion accompanied me as I headed back to the bus stop to catch the last trolley of the day.

View of the gardens and San Antonio from the observatory

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply