Berkeley, Point Lobos and Carmel

Not since my trip to three countries in one weekend have so many people questioned my sanity. This time only one country was involved, but so was a ten hour flight and an eight hour time difference.

Despite the logistics it was a great time to go to California as spring starts much earlier there than here in London. It’s nice to be able to walk around in T-shirts in the middle of February.

Spring in Berkeley

We stayed in Berkeley. Previously the only thing I knew about it was that the university was home of the Berkeley Standard Distribution of Unix. Until last year I didn’t, for example, know of its proximity to San Francisco, or that you could see the Golden Gate Bridge if you go up a particularly steep hill.

VW Bug in BerkeleyView of the Bay AreaSTOP in Berkeley

After we’d (more or less) recovered from the flight over we headed south to Monterey, which is where we’d spend the Saturday night. But we had other places to visit before we called it a day.

Carmel, CaliforniaCarmel, in the UK at least, is most famous for being the town where Clint Eastwood was mayor. We didn’t see him, but we did see a building that was either owned by or simply dedicated to him. We wandered up and down the main street, peering into the various tourist-oriented shops and some expensive-looking designer outlets. We failed to buy anything more expensive than a coffee and a cake.

The reason we had so little time was a detour to Point Lobos. It’s a beautiful spot on the coast where the Pacific crashes powerfully into the beige coloured rocks. There’s a tradition of taking family pictures here and we were keen to add another to the collection.

Point Lobos, California

Carmel was surprisingly busy and we were pleased with ourselves for booking a restaurant. Back at the hotel in Monterey we slept and then spent some of the morning peering out at the water trying to locate seals and sea-otters. (Partially successfully!)

Carmel Mission, California

Fortunately we didn’t have to rely on luck for closer sightings of nature as we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Carmel Mission, CaliforniaBefore heading back to Berkeley we had a look around the Carmel Mission. We had mistakenly thought is was this building in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, but despite missing the movie references still found it to be an interesting spot.

On Monday we just hung around the East Bay. I wandered up to the main street in Berkeley, enjoying the sun and picking up a Peets coffee.

So am I crazy? I don’t think so. It was a long way to go for a weekend, but it was fun and it was great to have a brief reprieve from the grey, London weather.

2 thoughts on “Berkeley, Point Lobos and Carmel”

  1. Hi Darlington Pair, the mission that was used in Vertigo is San Juan Bautista. You passed within about 3 miles of it on 101 south of Gilroy. I guess you’ll just have to come back!

  2. so glad to hear that we offered you a diversion from London’s climate. now I am curious to learn more about “three countries in a weekend”. do tell!

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