If you find yourself in Old San Juan in time for the sunset, head to the San Juan Gate on the western side of town. For over two centuries, the gate has opened onto Paseo del Morro, a trail nestled between the San Juan Bay and the weather-beaten City Wall.
Large rocks face the Bay, warm from the day in the sun. As sunset approaches, local cats assemble all around, lounging in the breeze.
Ships pass by, and, slowly, the walls, with their distinctive sentry towers and palm trees, turn black against the glowing clouds.
Watching with you and over you, from the top of the wall are the women (and the bishop) of the Plazuela de la Rogativa, a haunting assembly commemorating the religious procession that, as legend has it, saved San Juan from the British in 1797. With their city starved by a naval blockade, women of San Juan marched with torches and bells to the City Wall, entreating the saints for help. The British mistook the commotion for reinforcements–and left.
With the last rays, come the pelicans. They dive into the Bay, surprisingly sleek and streamlined, then fly up, and dive again–over and over and over. Then, suddenly, they settle. And the night falls.