The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Hearst Castle, San Simeon (California)

Xin chào from Vietnam! We just arrived here for a quick summer trip away while our boy is still on summer holidays. I was hoping to have written a few more posts than I have been, but my hands have been rather full for the past month with both kids at home. It is kind of ironic that I only have time while on holiday to write up about a previous trip.

A few months ago when we were in California, we visited Hearst Castle in San Simeon during our northward road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Also known as "La Cuesta Encantada" in Spanish (The Enchanted Hill), this elaborate and beautiful estate was built by a wealthy American newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst. This magnificent complex sits prominently atop a high hill, visible for miles and miles around, and it is now a state park open for public viewing tours. Visiting the castle requires buying tickets for guided tours in certain time slots, and advanced booking on the official website is highly recommended because time slots do get quite full before the day of visit. After arriving at the Visitor Center and picking up our tickets, we went on a 15-minute bus ride to the top of the hill for our guided tour. The structure was under construction at the time of our visit, but we could still appreciate the grandeur and beauty of the architecture, which was furnished with about 25000 artifacts, antiques and artwork. Here are some of the things we saw in Casa Grande, the estate's main house, and the surrounding area outside:

Inside the massive dining hall where Hearst entertained famous and well-known guests including Hollywood stars:

An antique wrought iron piece over one of the doorways:

The Billiard Room where only gentlemen were allowed:

A small section of the garden area:

One of the three guesthouses on the estate:

The gorgeous view of the surrounding land and the Pacific Ocean:

A massive fountain (the boy was sulking about something):

The Neptune Pool, currently empty due to restoration work in progress:

One of the beautiful sculptures in the garden:

The beautiful Roman Pool, where we waited for our return bus ride to the Visitor Center:

No comments:

Post a Comment