Road trip to the California Central Coast : Part 3


Drive to Big Sur with feeling the nature  

Well, I am going to write about the road trip to Monterey same as last time.


We drove to Monterey which was the final destination, after visiting Hearst Castle.


California State Route 1 goes past the area called “Big Sur”.  This highway runs between

San Simeon and Carmel as you drive north.


The distance about 71 miles.


The origin of the name of “Big Sur”


The name “Big Sur “ is derived from Spanish “el pais grande del sur”, meaning

“the big country of the south”. 

It refers to the region south of the city of Monterey.


This road goes up and down many hills and turns left and right many times as it winds along

the coastal hills and valleys.


We could see the fabulous scenery and the Pacific ocean along this undeveloped coastline.


The scenery included trees, beaches, rocky cliffs, birds and sky.


There were so many great spots to take pictures!


This California State Route 1 has another name, the “Cabrillo Hwy”, and it was built in 1937.


On this highway, there was a landslide as many as 55 times 


There was a very big landslide May a year ago, and the highway was closed until

July 18th of this year.


We could see the Pacific Ocean on the left side and we could see the huge grassy field

with cows grazing on the right side!


These views made me feel that the US is a big country. 


The peaceful landscape on California State Route1.



The following photo is the place which had the landslide last year.


The road is still under construction. However, it is mostly repaired. Notice the lack of plants on

the hillside which was re-shaped by construction crews.


This is the roadway which had been closed for one year. Still under construction.


I could see some cracks! It was covered with a net, and it was scary scenery.


We can see such a great ocean view!


This is one of the famous places to take pictures, called “Bixby Creek Bridge” This bridge has been used in films, TV shows, and TV commercials many times over the years.



There were many people who stopped near the road to take a picture of the sunset like we also did.


Sunset from “Big Sur”


We met some wild animals surprisingly again!

While we were driving north, we saw some wild animals such as wild Sea Otters which we also saw

on the first day at Morro Bay.


At first, we stopped at “Elephant Seal Vista Point” which we can see many Elephant Seals.


When I looked toward the beach, I found there were many fat Elephant Seals 


Many Elephant Seals were sunbathing on the beach. I have never seen anything like this!


These fat seals were rolling around and some were getting on top the others. It was funny.


Also, we could see some cute baby seals! 


Watch the cute Elephant Seals from here   ↓   ↓   ↓


And the next, we saw some wild turkeys!


We saw black moving objects that there were walking along the roadway by coincidence!


My husband said,” Look that! They are wild turkeys!” then he stopped the car.


We saw wild turkeys from our car.



Cars were coming and going and filled with the roadway.  But drivers drove carefully and the turkeys

crossed the road and then walked quickly away.


Then they walked up the hill and into the bush which probably their home.


We laughed at this scenery.


The video of wild turkeys   ↓   ↓   ↓


We visited a small European-style beach called “Capitola” 

After we spent a night in Monterey, we visited a European-style small beach town “Capitola”

I wanted to go there for a long time.


This is a motel which we stayed the second day. It was compact, but it was convenient and close to the center of the city.


After we left Monterey and we headed up 40 miles, about 1-hour drive.


While we were driving, we found a huge green field from the car.


“What is this?” I shouted!


Watched closer, that was artichoke farm!


Huge Artichoke farm!


We could look all over the place with green Artichoke farm!


Yes, this area surrounding Monterey produces a huge amount of fruits vegetables and so on.


Especially, the place which we drove by called Castroville.  It is a famous area for Artichokes.


It is difficult to find and buy in Japan.  About 75% of the total Artichoke crop is produced in California!


So we can buy in supermarkets for almost the whole year.


I found on the internet, Artichokes can be sold during the whole year.  But the best season is

from March to May.


The height of the plant was taller than me. Artichokes are at the top, like a flower!


I have never seen these before so I found something new 

We bought some fresh Artichokes at the small farm store.



Here is a related topic.


The best way of eating Artichoke


① Cut the artichoke in half. Steam the artichoke halves with pressure cooker or pot.

Wash Artichoke and steam.



② Peel leaves one by one, and the dip in olive oil with salt.


This is the best way and tasty to eat Artichoke, I think.


My husband likes to dip with melted butter, but my favorite is olive oil with salt!


And peel all leaves then the heart of Artichoke, this is the tastiest part of it.


This is the heart of Artichoke. We can taste just the bottom, small amount. (Blue circle)


Let’s return to the main subject.


We got to a small beach town called “Capitola” after about one hour drive.


There are some colorful houses on the beach and just like a European atmosphere.


Many years ago, Capitola was called Soquel Landing.  It had a wharf which was used to

deliver lumber and crops to other places from here.


In 1869, Frederick A. Hihn, who came from Germany in Gold Rush period owned this property.


Then he decided to develop it as a seaside resort.


Also, the “Capitola” name for this oldest beach resort on the West Coast is from the famous novel

“The Hidden Hand”


The view of Capitola from the pier.


Cute pink color!


Just like a European atmosphere.


This small beach town is a very convenient place. Because boutiques and restaurants are

concentrated near the beach.


So we can go anywhere without driving a car or needing a bus.


And there is a public parking near the beach as well.


Also, we can walk on the pier and watch the ocean,


This is “Capitola Wharf”


We walked near the beach for a while. 


We had a brunch at one of the seafood restaurants called“The Sand Bar” from which

we could see the colorful houses along the beach.


Casual seafood restaurant.


About ” The Sand Bar” from here  ↓ ↓ ↓


We can see colorful houses from the patio.


I ordered Guava mimosa and smoked salmon eggs Benedict, this time.


Guava mimosa and smoked salmon eggs Benedict.  The mimosa was not so sweet and eggs Benedict was tasty.


Those are my favorite tastes.


My husband ordered steamed Clams.


Steamed Clams.


I had a little nibble from his plate. Haha


Thus our road trip along the California Coast was over.


We ate tasty food, tasted wines and experienced nature.


We had a great time in Cambria and Monterey!


In the end, I want to post a cute doggy which we saw in Capitola.  


Cute doggy at Capitola arcade.



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