Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Taking the waters” and Hearst Castle

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Almost a year full time resident of California and we finally got a chance to revisit the Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz coast.

We were supposed to leave on Friday but i had a client meeting that i didn't want to miss and our dogsitter was not available until Saturday anyway so we headed down first thing Saturday. Needing some hard core relaxation first so we took to the waters with some good, long soaks in a hot mineral baths in Avila Valley all day Saturday. Much needed i tell you(in Europe i understand that this is prescribed by physicians and paid for by health insurance companies)...

We stopped off at the Hearst Castle on the way back up on Sunday which we have been wanting to see for years.
Hearst Castle is very impressive, i am sure like any other visitor i imagined the days of getting an invitation to spend a week at the Castle. Below is a shot of the water in the classic Neptune swimming pool, an architectural masterpiece surrounded by fourth-century Roman columns, Italian bas-reliefs, and contemporary statues from Paris. Everywhere you look in this place is another painting, sculpture, and antiquity. What a wonderful thing it must have been to be able to buy art during that period!

Of most interest to me however was Julia Morgan (1872 - 1957). She was the main architect for Hearst's San Simeon, CA castle and worked for over 28 years on the castle (while working on many other projects)- She was the first woman with a degree in architecture, and she created more than 700 structures.

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