20.10.2011 20 °C
We got up early to visit Hearst Castle here in San Simeon. Not many places are usually open at 8am but it is the sole reason for tourists pit-stopping here. The castle is on the top of a hill reached by taking the tour bus. Yet again the fog limits our visibility. As we get closer and climb higher the sun reappears and you look down onto blankets of fog. It's like Shangri-La. No wonder Hearst built up here. The property is huge and impressive, but the so called castle is really a huge mansion built with building materials such as the windows, gates, statues and doors acquired from almost every historic architectural period. Mad King Ludwig's Castle-Neuschwanstein- crosses my mind but the similarities exist only for the respective owner's eccentricities. The garden and grounds are incredible. Even more incredible are the priceless, exquisite antiques and artworks inside. This is what makes Hearst Castle worth a visit! It shows you what money/wealth can buy and reveals the power and influence that comes with being a billionaire.
We leave San Simeon and head to LA with the aim of getting there before it gets dark. Highway 101, heading South. This half of the drive is easier, less scenic and more dual lane highway. Santa Barbara is our next destination and we stop to admire the beaches and have some food in Montecito. I am a bit stressed about how we will go driving into LA to get to our hotel so the smart move is to use google maps and note directions. Easy! We follow the exact directions, experience peak hour traffic in LA and make it safely to Hollywood Blvd- mission accomplished! M is a great driver and has enjoyed every minute of this drive (well almost-except for my anxieties navigating!)
ps: he'd like to keep the mustang!