:: Thursday, November 18, 2004 ::
The ruins of the church at the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, California.
On Monday I drove up the coast on HWY 5 through places like La Jolla and Oceanside to San Juan Capistrano – which is about half way between SD and LA. This is the oldest mission in California founded by the Spanish in about 1776. Basically a walled compound of about two or so acres . There are a series of low buildings with an inner courtyard with a fountain and a chapel. The original church is a huge structure whose dome and some of its white stone walls collapsed in an earthquake in the first quarter of the 19th century. Enough of it remains that you can pick out the outline of the entry way and the supporting walls of the dome are still standing - albeit with a little structural support here and there. I didn’t see the outline at first, but when I walked in to the main section and looked back out you could picture the standard cross shape of most Christian churches. A nice little place, and for the six bucks admission, worth the price of a walk about. No swallows though. Wrong time of year for it.
The drive up from SJ Cap was annoying. With a couple of exceptions the traffic was what people complain about in Cali, sucky. While straightforward a drive, it was bottle neck traffic here and there and the PCH cuts through some less than pretty sections of LA. I was going to miss the closing time for the Spruce Goose at Long Beach, and so decided to press on. I decided I wanted to stop somewhere typical cali and settled on Santa Monica. The Pier is quite an attraction with a ferris wheel and restaurants and bisects the beach. There is a walkabout shopping area closed to traffic a couple of blocks up from the beach which has pretty much every high end shop including an Apple store. And sadly a high concentration of homeless. I hadn’t seen really any in SD, but here, in the space of four blocks there were many, lets say 20 or more, camped out with their possessions, or signs, or begging for change. A contrast between the affluent haves and the downtrodden have nots. We have them, but this was surprising.
:: Mike Wood 16:24 [+] ::