we went to hearst castle today, which was the estate of william randolph hearst, the wealthy media magnate. he gave the estate to the state of california when he died, and now you can take tours of this grandiose, somewhat over-the-top location. as you can see above, the estate itself is located up on the top of a hill, but what you can't see is the fantastic view over the pacific ocean. must've been quite something waking up to that view everyday.
anyway i had mixed feelings about the place. in my mind, it was very gaudy. it seemed a mish-mash of ancient artifacts, more recent artifacts, and furniture from the major department stores of the early 20th century. cohesion isn't a word i'd use.
however, big is certainly an appropriate word. for instance, in the picture above you can see one of the two swimming pools on the property. the pool is drained because of leaks, but just look a the size! it's huge. that ladder is for a person. and in the upper left corner of the pictur eyou see the greek building? that's supposed to be some sort of greek temple recreation, so people would think feel like they were in ancient greece when swimming here. in fact, scenes from sparticus were filmed at the pool.
this brief trip to a california landmark reminded me of how much i have yet to see in california. it's a remarkable place and i've barely explored any of it.