By Kiara Bean, Correspondent
In the last issue, we visited Hunt, a little town in Texas. This time, I will point out some nearby places to see within a day’s drive of Hunt.
Fredericksburg, with a population of just under 12,000 people, is located about 40 miles northeast of Hunt. It was founded in 1846 by German settlers. To this day, one can still feel the presence of German influence in the old architecture of the buildings, the many restaurants offering German cuisine, and in the shops selling décor and other commodities.
At first, Fredericksburg was a farm and ranch community. Later, it became the manufacturing center for Gillespie county, known for its furniture factory, granite and limestone quarries, and cement plant. At the beginning of the 20th century, the tourism industry started to grow, and Fredericksburg became a well-known tourist attraction.
The city of Fredericksburg is also the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. He was Commander-in-Chief of the US Naval forces in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. The old Nimitz hotel, previously owned by the Nimitz family, was restored and changed into The Admiral Nimitz Museum in the admiral’s honor in 1968. In 2000, it was renamed the Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site – National Museum of the Pacific War. It houses a large collection of World War II and Nimitz memorabilia.
There are many old buildings in Fredericksburg which reminded me of castles from the medieval times. One that caught my eye was the Pioneer Memorial Library, which originally served as the second courthouse for Gillespie County before being renovated into a library in 1967.
Besides enjoying these pieces of history, we also dined on excellent German food. We ate lunch in the Old German Bakery and Restaurant, where we had bratwurst with sauerkraut and freshly made bread. For dessert, we had German pretzels and German chocolate cake.
For dinner, we went to the Auslander. We enjoyed Jagerschnitzel (breaded pork loin cutlet) with mushroom brown gravy and potatoes, Rouladen (thinly sliced roast beef) with bacon, onions, and pickles covered in gravy, and of course, we had the famous Apple Strudel for dessert.
We also visited San Antonio, which is located about 80 miles southeast of Hunt. There, we learned about another piece of history when we visited the Alamo Mission, which was turned into a museum. This is the site of the famous Battle of the Alamo.
There are many historical places to enjoy throughout San Antonio. Among these are the San Fernando de Bexar Cathedral, the Governor’s Palace, the historic mansions in the King William Historic District, and the Historic Market Square.
The city is built on the banks of the San Antonio River. In the past, the river often caused floods until 1939, when architect Robert Hugman designed a network of sidewalks and bridges to solve the flooding problem. They run alongside the river one story down from the main level of the city. This project resulted in the famous San Antonio River Walk. Many restaurants and shops line the 2.5-mile stretch of sidewalks.
After a beautiful and relaxing walk around the city, we stopped for dinner in the Battalion, an Italian restaurant. There, we enjoyed Spinach Dumplings with Parmesan-Truffle Cream and Veal Marsala with Mushroom Sauce. For dessert, we had an amazing Strawberry Panna Cotta, which is basically cream pudding.
My trip to Hunt and the surrounding area was wonderful. I enjoyed spending time in nature, learning more about our history, seeing different historical buildings, and trying all the new food. I highly recommend going to visit Hunt and the nearby cities if you ever get the chance.
Featured Image: The Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site – National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg honors the admiral’s service as Commander-in-Chief of the US Naval forces in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.