California ( September 9-24, 2005)
North along the coast
We took a tour through Hearst Castle at San Simeon, north of Santa Barbara. It was built by wealthy newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s-1940s, and is now owned and maintained by the State of California.
A trip through Europe with his mother when he was 10 years old gave Hearst an appreciation of its art and and history, and a desire to build something of similar grandeur to the castles he visited there.
He regarded the San Simeon Coast as his "front yard", and the beach there is named after him.
Two swimming areas were built - the Neptune outdoor pool (shown above) and the indoor Roman pool, modelled after an ancient Roman bath.
The Bixby Bridge was built in 1932 over Bixby Creek, 13.3 miles south of Carmel. It was seismically retroffitted in 1998-2000 to withstand severe earthquakes, but its original Art Deco style has been preserved.
We took the 17 Mile Drive along the Monterey Peninsula through the Del Monte Forest between Carmel and Monterey to view the beautiful coastal scenery and golf courses (and expensive houses) set amongst it. We saw cormorants, seagulls, tamish squirrels, a sea otter, harbor seals, deer (on the golf courses) and even a mouse!
The Lone Cypress is much photographed, and is the official symbol of the Pebble Beach Company.