It was a long, long day. The day started at 4:00 in the morning. When we woke up it was pitch dark outside, and also a bit of cold, though it was last weeks of April. We wanted to stay in Cambria at least for one night, but we cut short our trip into one day for some other reason. A place, which was 250 miles aways from our home would take time to reach.Though we tried our best to start sharp at 4:30, still we failed to that. However, we did a fair job, we were late only by 10 minutes.
It was cold and dark outside. We just tiptoed and smoothly drove our car from our neighborhood without disturbing our neighbors. We didn’t want to wake up anybody from their slumber on a weekend morning. The roads were empty like a deserted city, rather ghost town, we feel like driving in the midnight.
After starting from home our first job was to fill the gas tank of our car. But, the first petrol pump was closed. Thankfully after few miles we got another petrol pump, and which serve our purpose. Still it was dark,the freeway was almost empty, except some gigantic trucks were rushing. It was a very pleasant to drive in the morning, without any traffic. Suddenly my husband put a hard break and shouted “deer deer”. oh!!!! ,a big deer was just in front our car with flapping ears. Thankfully, my husband put the break just in time. The car behind us was in such a high speed, the driver couldn’t push the break, but he could manage to swerve the car and change the lane to avoid an accident. The deer stood still with grace for a few minutes there, staring at us. We already came a long way, we passed Gilroy, the garlic city. The soft golden light of the morning started peeking through the gap of the two hills.
As we were driving, on the right side we could see the sun, but the left side was wrapped with fog. Suddenly the sun came out with his full light. Again fog wrapped us. We were going through the roads with hills on both sides. Sometimes the hills were very barren with few trees, some times the hills were covered with big trees, and some hills were wrapped with green grass.
Our first destination was Hearst Castle. As the city of Cambria was lack of any retail chains, we decided to have our breakfast before entering the city.
The sun already started showing his full face. The weather was very pleasant, not so hot, not so cool. While approaching towards the castle we saw some zebras. I wondered , how could they come on a grass land. After entering the castle we came to know, they were the descendent of the zebras, from the Mr. Hearts’s private zoo. His zoo was full of exotic animals during Mr. Hearst’s glorious time, but unfortunately he donated most of them to different zoos when he suffered from a financial crisis. Only the zebras were left there, who nicely accustomed themselves with the other farm animals in Hearts’s farm. When we reach there ,the castle had just opened in the morning for the public. The castle was built on the highest point of the adjacent hills. And how far you could see was the Hearts’s property. I wondered, during his heydays, the man enjoyed everything, a human can dream.
|Hearst Castle is an US Historical Landmark, located on the Central coast of California. It is designed by architect Julia Morgan for newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst.|
Mr. Hearst was a great collector, from postage stamps to ceilings he collected from different part of the world. We only took the basic tour of the castle, so we couldn’t see the whole castle. Only the guide told us the story about his stamp collection, his bedroom and the others. We could only see the breakfast room and the dinning room. The breakfast room had a secret door through which a lift went upstairs direct to Mr. Hearst’s bedroom.
|Collections of Hearst|
|The Spanish style house in the premises|
|In front of the Neptune Pool|
Though I wouldn’t tell that I had seen something amazing compared to old castle, but many of the collections really amazed me. Like the garden and the flowers. We couldn’t see other floors of the castle, because our tickets didn’t permit that. So after the ground floor tour, we went out side to see the garden. From the top of the hill the pacific ocean could be seen. It was extremely chilly and windy. We were shivering to stand outside. But we waited to hear the bell ring on the top of the castle at 12 at noon. There were many marble statues around the garden, those were also Hearst’s collection.
|The dining room, where Mr. Hearts never sat at the place where usually the head of the family sits.|
Our next destination was the light house. My son was extremely excited to see that. When we reach near the light house, we couldn't find out any ways to go near the lighthouse. We could see some car were parked inside premises of the lighthouse. We didn’t know how they reach there. Anyway, we went from there to watch elephant seals. The sea shore was fully covered with the big seals, who were basking in the sun. Most of them were just sleeping. What a life!!! No worries, nothing.
|Basking in the sun|
|The light house, we couldn't find the entry of it.|
Although it was interesting to watch them, but the chill wind was blowing so hard, made difficult to stand on the beach. Clock was ticking fast, we were already past the lunch time. All of us were extremely hungry. Cambria was place full restaurants, which you can’t find any where. So, before coming we decided the restaurant, where to have lunch. We decided to sit outside of the restaurant with the thought that we could enjoy the ocean while eating. However, that was not a wise decision. Sitting in the strong cold sea breeze way far from any comfort and coziness. We were shivering there.
|Poor man's Hearst Castle-- Made from all scraps, by architect Arthur "Art" Harold Beal|