I left Santa Barbara Heading for San Diego on Amtrak again. This time I was traveling business class which I think is about the equivalent of First Class at home. I’m not at all sure how Amtrak works. Business is definitely one step up from coach but you don’t have a reserved seat. It’s first come first served. On the other hand you do get a bag with various snacks and a small bottle of wine at the start of your journey. It was a 5 hour journey to San Diego so I arrived in the dark.
San Diego looked a lot different the next day. Once again I took the trolley tour. I think that’s about the fourth trolley car I’ve been on. San Diego seems to be where California began but I am sure that I have heard other cities say that too. THe city is only 165 years old, so in the scheme of things it’s just a young thing. I didn’t realise that almost all of southern California is desert. San Diego and Coronado the island off its coast have been reclaimed through irrigation. As you travel around the many different types of trees really frame the buildings, fountains etc but until just over 100 years ago there were no trees here. It was only when a way to bring water here was found, that people settled. Even today 80% of the water used in San Diego is piped into the city. Wish that we had that problem.
The Spanish/Mexican influences are becoming much more apparent both in the buildings and in the people. Almost every other person speaks Spanish.
The trolley took me all over the city including out to Coronado island in the harbour. We went out over the road bridge which was a bit of a strange trip. It’s a very high bridge. San Diego is in the middle of a heatwave(85-95 degrees). At sea level it was beautifully sunny and hot. Up on the bridge we were in a thick mist and it was freezing. Coronado is a beautiful residential/holiday resort with gorgeous beaches.
The Hotel de Coronado is where much of “Some like it Hot” was filmed.
Having seen the Old Town and all the different ethnic sections of te city I decided to visit Balboa Park next day. It is a huge park where almost all the museums and many of the theatres are based as well as beautiful gardens.
Place de Balboa
A wee turtle trying to make his mind up whether to bake or swim
The Artists’ quarter
Art in the park