Thursday, September 20, 2012

On a Mission - Thurs., Sep. 20

Mission impossible...almost. I woke up this morning with vertigo. Not good. I did my exercises for vertigo and rested. When I resurfaced two hours later my vertigo was gone. Yay! I hung around the 5er to make sure the vertigo was gone before I ventured out. At 3:30 p.m. it seemed safe to go on my mission to the missions.

First stop, Mission Conception. We had passed by the outside on our Volkswalk in July, but couldn't go inside as it was Sunday and the church is still active. A Sunday service was in progress that day.

Today I was able to explore to my heart's content. These missions are Spanish architecture with a Moorish influence. Here's what I saw.

Back side of kitchen, refectory and library.
Mission wall art (fresco) in library
The church and convento walls of Mission Concepcion are still standing after 250 years. Mission Concepcion  is one of the oldest original stone church buildings in the United States. The frescoes are colorful murals or designs in which pigment is applied to wet limestone plaster, which absorbs the color. Limestone and goat's milk bind the paint. When the plaster dries it hardens back into limestone, and the colors soften into permanency. The art of frescoing was taught to mission Indians. A blending of Christian, Spanish and Native art elements resulted.
Convento corridor.

Looking toward storeroom, porteria and library.

Main church entrance...notice the rose window above the door.

The Sanctuary
Pews in nave.

Great door.
A nice couple took my photo .Good shot.
From here, I continued on my mission to see, well, missions. My next visit was to Mission Espada. This mission was established on March 5, 1731.

Mission Espada was the only San Antonio mission where bricks and tiles were made.

Remains of Indian quarters. This was a mission entrance.
Indian quarters.

More ruins of Indian quarters.

Church circa 1740; bell tower (espadana) added in the 1780's
Belltower and door are distinctive Spanish features.
Unique doorway into church.
Granary converted to church from 1773-1776.
Be sure to watch out for the fire ants!
Mission Espada is definitely not as well preserved as some of the other missions, but the church still serves as the heart of the small community nearby; mission descendants continue to worship there.

It was after 5:00 and there was one more mission I wanted to see: Mission San Juan. The gate was locked when I arrived, so I walked around it. Everything I wanted to see was outside anyway. Reconstruction work is currently underway on the church, so it is fenced off.


A 1/3 mile trail to hike with Bob. We'll be back!
Church undergoing restoration work.


Burial grounds.
Burial grounds.

Driving between missions, I saw a couple of other interesting things: egrets, and I'll share the other one at the end.

Great egret and a couple of snowy egrets in the San Antonio River.
About a week ago Bob drove me past the Stinson Municipal Airport in the evening. I didn't have my camera then, so I came back today to take photos of this great art deco building.

That's a wrap, or, as Bob pointed out, "Mission accomplished." LOL. Good one, Bob.

Hopefully I'll get a laugh too. Here's the other photo op I found driving between missions:

Really???   The End.