San Diego was drier than San Clemente today, though not any sunnier. No way will I come home without some photos, so no blue skies? Whatever, shoot away.
Point Loma was our first stop, a high overlook with cliffs sloping right to the ocean and a clear view to San Diego proper. Well, clear on most other days. It’s a perfect spot for a lighthouse, and what do you know, there’s a lighthouse. Access to the lamp itself was blocked but I snuck up as far as I could and grabbed a shot of the massive fresnel lens.
Point Loma is very interesting historically and geographically. Europeans first discovered it in 1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing for Spain, took shelter in the bay near what is now San Diego. He later ventured north to modern day Santa Catalina, San Clemente, and Los Angeles, but shortly suffered an injury — nobody really knows from what — and died in 1543.
In 1852, now a possession of the U.S., the area was recognized for strategic military use, and Fort Rosencrans was built in 1899. It was vital to efforts during both World Wars, housing massive sixteen inch guns during WWII.
Tide pools, an uncommon intertidal zone, and mixed flora of succulents, sages, shrubs, and grasses support an ecosystem that was once widespread in California but has now been reduced by 70%. Point Loma holds one of the largest open spaces of this ecotype — anywhere.
The next stop was Pho Hoa for lunch. Awesome, awesome pho, not much more to say, just eat.
Then we moved on to Balboa Park, the largest urban park in the U.S. Balboa Park houses fifteen museums (including a photography museum that we didn’t have time to visit), several gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. And all of the outdoor areas, which include most of the gardens, are totally free. We took a walk, checked out the impressive botanical building, said what’s up to a parrot and some cockatoos who were visiting, and stopped to smell the roses.
It was a great penultimate day of vacation in California, even if weather didn’t exactly agree. So far, there are 79 photos up from my week plus, which of course you can see in a slideshow. There will be plenty more when I get home, I went a little crazy this time. Flying back to New York tomorrow night!