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  • Things I learned........

    Just returned from a vacation in Puerto Rico, inspired by FLS to learn the history of the period. What I learned:

    1) "El Morro" is Spanish for "headland". There are three "El Morro" forts in the new world, one at San Juan, one at Santa Domingo, and one at Havana. The full name of the fort at San Juan is "Castillo de San Filipe del Morro".

    2) When entering the real life El Morro in San Juan, the one portrayed by FLS, there is no loading screen. Same for when you depart El Morro.

    3) Rather than enter El Morro at the main gate, for avcom purposes FLS has players enter at the Carmen Battery. Thus, players can avoid having to pay the $4 entry fee charged by the US National Park Service. F2P players can still purchase an entry ticket from Treasure Island.

    4) When players enter San Juan they will see a fortification on their right , which is called "La Fortaluza". This fortification was completed by 1540. By 1650 San Juan was enclosed by masonry walls. When entering San Juan, the entry point FLS appears to represent is the San Juan Gate, as the Fortaluza is located to the right of the docks. However, FLS does not represent the walls or the gate. Once again, there is no loading screen at the real life San Juan.

    5) Though most of the artillery guns have been removed from El Morro, there is still one sited on the Cruise Ships. Visit St Augustine if you want to see guns emplaced, as San Juan is more tourist friendly.

    6) Outside of San Juan, FLS represent El Morro to the west of the port. As ships arriving from the Old World would have to pass El Morro to gain entry to San Juan Bay, FLS should have placed El Morro to the East of San Juan, right by that area in which players run into the dock.

    7) El Morro is surrounded by water on three sides, which results in quite a refreshing breeze. Still, when walking around the fort, the sun is quite hot. Ben and Jerry's ice cream is closeby, just inside Old San Juan, and marked on your tourist map for a reason. FLS omitted Ben and Jerry's from the game, probably for historical accuracy.

    8) Down by the San Juan gate is a vendor selling slushes. Buy one, walk out the gate, and sit down on the benches under the big tree and enjoy the view of the bay.

    9) Taxi rides start at $12, bus rides are 75 cents on weekdays, 50 cents on weekends. You do the math. Don't be surprised when you hand your taxi driver $20 for a $12 ride, and he says he doesn't have change. He wants you to tell him to keep the change. Never hand him a $20 bill.

    10) Do not ask about bus schedules in San Juan. The busses arrive when they get there, they depart shortly thereafter. If a waiter/waitress does not come by your table within the first 5 minutes of your seating, relax, it may be another 5 minutes. After all, it isn't New York City........

    11) If you rent a car, do not leave your keys with the valet, they don't have valets. If you are driving around San Juan, and you are pulled over by the police, do NOT speak Spanish. Once they realize that you cannot speak Spanish, they will let you go.

    12) Don't feel special if you meet a guy near the resort hotels who asks you for money to pay for a taxi to get to the hospital because the locals roughed up his dad. He tells that story to all the tourists. His wife is down working the Cruise Ship docks, and will tell you a similiar story.

    13) Things are more expensive near the Cruise Ship docks. They have a nice Harley Davidson store down there, just don't ask to see the bikes.....they don't have any bikes.

    14) Overall, it was a very fun trip, and San Juan is a pretty safe place. I would recommend a spring break seasonal vacation to San Juan. Just don't fly Spirit Airlines, as they don't give you a can opener to get in and out of your seat.
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