Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2013-03-26 Tuesday

Today, after breakfast, we headed north on CA-1 to Hearst Castle – the San Simian, CA mansion built by William Randolph Hearst.  Since we had toured Biltmore House, located near Asheville, NC, we wanted to see how the other half lived on the West Coast.  Our first glimpse of the castle was from the parking lot (15x zoom).  DSC06380   Mr. Hearst’s castle is approximately 5 miles from the visitor center – up a winding road to where he had camped in tents as a child.  Of course the view of the ocean and mountains is what made him choose this site when he inherited the property in 1919.  Ground was broken in 1920, some 25 years after Biltmore House was started.

Hearst Castle is different from other estates of the rich in the US.  Its architecture is based on Mediterranean castles of Europe.  In fact, Mr Hearst collected art, statues, ceilings etc. from post World War I European art dealers.

Our tour began with a bus ride from the visitor center DSC02400, narrated by Alex Trebec, up the winding road to where guests of Mr. Hearst would have arrived.  These are the first pictures off the bus.  DSC02402DSC02404DSC02405 We were not allowed in the main door because they did not want us to walk on the inlaid mosaic entryway floor. Walking off the bus gives a view of the mountains.  DSC02403  The first view of the ocean from the castle could have been clearer, but it is a long way away – 5 miles. DSC02406  The first room we entered was the Assembly Room.  This is where Mr. Hearst’s guests would gather in the afternoon for cocktails and chatting.  DSC02408DSC02409DSC02410  When dinner was ready, Mr. Hearst or one of his servants would invite everyone in to the dining room.  DSC02411DSC02412DSC02414  In addition to the tapestry, the ceiling is included because it was several hundred years old and part of Mr. Hearst’s collections of objet d;arte.  During the day, guests could swim, play pool, ride horseback, etc.  But after dinner, since Mr. Hearst was a movie producer, there were movies to view in his 50 seat theater.

After being released from the tour, we were allowed to roam the grounds.  Here we saw the Neptune Pool, along with views of the surroundings.  DSC02420DSC02424DSC02426DSC02427   I did take a few pictures of the flowers.  DSC02439DSC02441

After returning to the visitor center, we drove north on CA-1 to see the elephant seals.  DSC06383DSC06392DSC06394DSC06395 

Of course we had to take a picture of the local lighthouse -  Piedras Blancas Light Station, just north of San Simeon. DSC06387

Type at you later.

1 comment:

  1. It brought back memories of our trip there. You just can't describe it, without being there yourself. It's a must stop! Great photos and was happy to see you had such a clear day.