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USA - NY to LA - 2001
Web sites for information on National and State Parks and related topics http://www.nationalparks.org

Elephant seals fighting in a routine way on the State Beach not far from San Simieon.

In a few minutes it is all over and the atmosphere is pretty relaxed again.

A youngster who has just been for a swim.

Sorry I didn't take a picture of all the tourists standing tightly packed on the cliff about 5 meters above the beach and behind a heavy fence. They were kind of fun too.

Next stop the parking lot where you can buy a ticket and be bussed to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst's complex up on the hill.

Hurst started collecting art at the age of five and he had the means to keep it up all his life. He built this Castle to house his collection on a huge parcel of land that he used to camp on with his father.

That which was in my youth always called the Hearst Castle is now a California State Park.

There are a total of 165 rooms and 127 acres and gardens - all designed by Architect Julia Morgan to showcase Hearst's art collection. The building went on between 1919 and 1947 and was left "unfinished" when Hearst moved away because of ill health.

When Hearst died he donated both the Castle and all the art to the State of California. And it is now the No. one historical monument in the US. - I read that.

Unfortunately I didn't read that you need to reserve a tour ticket ahead of time. So we had to pass up our planned visit.

Above is the main house - La Casa Grande. 115 rooms, movie theater and dining room for 25. The little temple to the right was built to house the Roman sculpture of Neptune with two Nereids - sea nymph daughters of Nereus. (Borrowed photo like the one above).

I used to have a neighbor in Glendale who was some kind of cousin and one of the hundreds (thousands?) of people who Hearst took care of. He and his family spent all their vacations on one or another of Hearst compounds - most often on the Russian River in Northern California but even here.

My neighbor often showed slides of these wonders. So I have seen a lot of this place of imported European culture. But it was not open to the public until long after I moved to Sweden so I have never seen it.

These old fashioned wind mills I have seen all my life. Most of them pump water into an old bathtub for use by ranging cattle.

We are nearing Los Angeles and long before that the highway clogs up and we sit still - drive 10 meters - and sit again.

Typical Los Angeles!

© Ann Thulin
© Lars Thulin, © Per Thulin
© Ingrid Hansson
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