Sunday, October 27, 2013

A day in Balboa Park

I always wondered about that bridge that I pass by when driving on I-5 in downtown San Diego. It is so high and looks old which indicates there is history behind it. I found out yesterday that it was leading to Balboa Park, the famous landmark of San Diego. You can park your car near the entrance and take a free red trolley that takes you to the center of the park where you will find various museums and a Japanese garden among other things. The highlight of the park is the cultural exhibit which represent a different country each week. This weekend it was about India. If you continue walking you will reach a bridge that leads to the zoo in about ten minute walk. At the end of the park you reach the museum of man, where they have a collection of instruments of torture that were used in the middle ages. At that edge of the park you find the bridge that you pass under when driving on I-5 I was talking about.
The picture you see above is near the bridge of a park area where a couple of weddings were taking place. See how huge the tree is. Overall it is a nice park but needs much more than the couple of hours we spent there. The park hours go well into the evening up to 8 pm, and some places continue to 10 pm. But soon in the winter the hours will be shortened to only 5:30 pm. There are some restaurants and cafes there but nothing special. The picture you see on the left is at the visitors center. Overall the park is a nice place to spend a day in the weekend, and it is worth it to stay from morning until evening. The museums are not free but the admission to the park itself is free. Tickets to the museum of man cost $12.50 for those who are interested. There is a 3-D movie theatre in the natural history museum, and an IMAX theatre in the science museum. I saw also a space museum, but I suspect that any of those would come near the museums of the Smithsonian in DC.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

On to Mission Trails

Mission Trails Regional Park is in San Diego, CA. You start from the visitor's center in One Fr. Junipero Serra Trail rd. Then you can choose any one of the trails to climb the nearby mountains. The first time we went there we just hiked along the paved road, and then visited the old dam. That dam was built by the early Spanish mission to the area who could not rely on the San Diego river for their crops, so they thought of the dam idea and that helped them flourish. The dam was built from Granite and mortar stones and we saw remnants of it still there. The next day we climbed up, and the picture shows the scene from the top of the mountain. It is a steep climb, and they say you could see rattle snakes around but we did not see any. The snakes don't like humans in general and would run away from their noise, but even had we met any they would not harm us, unless of course we attacked them first, which we would not have any thought of doing so. For our luck we had Santa Ana weather, which is very dry and hot weather. Other than that it was a nice hike, and I recommend it to everybody who loves nature.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

On Lake Discovery

So we took a trail that starts from Discovery Lake in San Marcos and ends at Double Peak. We had to go through some houses on the way, and then we climbed the mountain until we reached the paved way that led to Double Peak Park. Last time we climbed up to Double Peak from the other side through Double Peak Drive, and that was a short climb, unlike this side. The total hike time was about one hour and fifteen minutes both ways. I liked it except for the part about having to cross through private homes along the way. There were bikers along the trail, and also some runners. Mere walking was more than enough for us thank you very much. The scenery was nice as usual. All the trails we tried so far have magnificent scenes along the way whether on the beach or by the mountains and lakes. Much nicer than the trails in Phoenix where all you see is desert-mountains, or Iowa, where all you see is fields of corn. I am sure there are many more to explore, so I will be posting more as we try them one by one.