Hearst Castle

Sunday 5th October

We were only a couple of miles from the Hearst Castle so it was a quick drive there after a few stops for photographs along the beautiful coastline.  Lots and lots of elephant seals.

Hearst Castle was built by William Randolph Hearst on the family ranch.  The construction commenced in 1919 once he had finally inherited the family fortune at the age of 56.  He had been collecting European artifacts all of his life and now finally had the money to build his dream castle La Cuesta Encantada, Spanish for Enchanted Hill on the Hearst Ranch at San Simeon, the family ranch for 2 generations.

The Castle comprises 165 rooms and 125 acres of gardens.  It took 28 years to complete.  It did not help that he kept changing his mind constantly.  For instance the Neptune Pool was ripped out twice and rebuilt before his was entirely satisfied with it.

imageWe toured the Upstairs rooms which included his private suites and office as well as the downstairs areas where his legendary entertaining took place.  Massive dining room, lounge room, pool room and home theatre.  This man was seriously wealthy and invited guests from all over to spend time and have a fabulous time.  Apparently the saying goes “that you knew when you had made it, if you were invited to Hearst Castle for a weekend”.imageWe travelled on from Hearst Castle hugging the West Coast all the way up to Monterey.  It is like the drive from Port Douglas to Cairns but 3 hours longer and it is on the side of the cliffs ALL of the way and there are many more cars.  The coastline is spectacular and at one part (4pm) a fog rolled in.  It was such a weird sight on a very sunny and warm (32C) afternoon.

After all the driving we were in need of relaxation (meaning Geoff was desperate for a beer).  We found ourselves a great spot in Cannery Row right out over the water for some great seafood and live entertainment – sea otters feeding in the waters below.   image

Om our way back to the car we were distracted by the very loud honking noises of sea lions.  We followed the noise and found 8 huge sea lions sitting up on a pontoon at the Marina.  It was our very on private viewing.

2 comments to “Hearst Castle”
  1. Great reading Susan. Do you have accommodation booked ahead or just driving as far as you want, then stop.

    • Hello Carmel, We are more or less driving and finding a room. It is now the fall and there are generally plenty of rooms although I do check out booking.com and sometimes we have booked a day ahead. We have just arrived in Lake Tahoe and we are staying right on the lake e.g. toes in the sand right outside our door. Time to go for dinner, probably out over the lake on the pier.
      Love Susan PS There are fireplaces in the rooms and Geoff has already put ours on!!

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