Monday, September 25, 2017

Hearst Castle - Central Coast - San Simeon Ca

For those of you who have never been here, it really is a castle. Some say it was complete folly. Call it what you will, but it is amazing. I won't waste your time with a page full of information about the castle, or relating to William Randolph Hearst and his publishing empire. I will give you a couple of links to those things. Also, do you remember Patty Hearst, and/or the Symbionese Liberation Army? Please don't feel pressured to follow the links! 

Links: Hearst Castle website.  
Wikipedia   
W.R. Hearst (Wikipedia)
Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst (Wikipedia)
Many more photos are here. Most of them taken in areas not available on the public tours.


La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Castle)
In today's dollars, this place cost more than a half billion dollars to build. It is 90,000 square feet in size, has 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, and 19 entertaining rooms. It also had the largest private zoo in the world, and over 100 acres of gardens. The wharf was built so ships could deliver building materials, and supplies to the site.


In my last post I pointed this place out. It was on the top of a hill in the distance. This is the opposite view. San Simeon Point is the land form in the upper right hand corner of this photo. The trail I was on, starts from the wharf (to the right of this golden lady's head), continues around the bay to the actual point, and then around the other side. The very little town of San Simeon was to the right of the wharf. Hearst built the wharf, the town, and planted every tree in sight. The castle is large enough to have 11 different tours available.


The golden lady is to the left of the stairs.




The Neptune Pool. 
One of the tour guides told me that people currently working here, are allowed to use this pool on "special" occasions. The pool is a bit over the top for my liking, but it sure is beautiful. There are many alabaster statues and sculptures around the property. Most of these photos were taken in the middle of the day, with very challenging lighting.  If you want really good photos of this place, there are probably a million of them you can access on Google. I'm sure I have better photos to replace some of these, but I can't find them.


Taken at distance with my phone. Not making excuses, just telling you why it sucks!






















My favorite photo of the whole batch. It's peeking at us.

Ready, Aim...

Just because some people don't believe that woodpeckers like palm trees.


Stellar Jay
Pretty common in the west






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69 comments:

  1. ...oh what money can buy! Gorgeous sights and you banner is fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Tom! A luxury, I've never really had. I also really like the header photo. Wish I'd taken it!

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  2. What an amazing place. Like a royal oasis in the desert.

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    1. It really is amazing Alex. One of tours takes you underground to see the original entry. They built the new one over it.

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  3. Great pics, Pat. It's been years since I toured the castle, what sticks out in memory is the bedroom that apparently was David Niven's when he was a guest.

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    1. Hi Mike! I think I've been on four different tours. I read somewhere that even if you go on all eleven-ish tours, you only see a very small percentage of the rooms.

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  4. OH..MY..GOD!!!! Pat, this place looks AMAZING! Phenomenal photographs!

    Love the shot of the opposite view, looking towards the water!!!

    The architecture is mindblowing. It looks as if you stepped back in time to the ancient Roman days of Italy. The indoor swimming pool....WOW!

    Stellar picture of the squirrel!

    Thanks so much for sharing. Really enjoyed!

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    1. Thanks Ron! I personally think these photos run the gamut when it comes to quality. When I took that photo of the squirrel, I didn't notice the canon. I just saw that lately.

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  5. Wow, Pat, that is impressive! I guess there's nothing what money can't buy ;)

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    1. Thanks Marleen! I believe what you said is true. I'd like to give it a try though...

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  6. I'd love to see the place and hear the stories in person. Great houses always have such amazing stories. If walls could talk. I've never see that particular Jay. He's colorful.

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    1. I agree Sharon, although I'm not a fan of group tours, these are pretty interesting. Stellar Jays range all the way down to Nicaragua. I don't think they are "true" jays, but are closely related.

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  7. That really is one amazing castle!

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    1. Amazing is almost an understatement. Not just what it is, but where it is.

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  8. Fun and brought back memories -- we didn't even have a camera with us when we toured ... I remember the swimming pool and the statuary in the hall, but not the golden lady and some of the views ... this could be because I'm old and have forgotten or it could be that we missed some of that on the tours we took.

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    1. Hi Sallie! This was the first time I've used a camera there. Don't get me wrong, because I think the place is amazing, but what a Colossal waste of money. I can't imagine the good he could have done with it instead. Oh well...

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    2. Wasn't it done for love of whats-her-name the movie star? Marian Davis maybe was that her name? Anyway, yes agree with you of course ... conspicuous consumerism etc..... but still glad we saw it. once. We'll never go back again, so that was why I especially enjoyed your pictures.

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    3. We are just down the road from right now, and I don't think we'll be going either. I think you are right about the movie start. Also, the classic film "Citizen Kane" was about Hearst (on some level).

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  9. Hearst certainly went all out. It's wonderful that this place is open to tours.

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    1. I hope you can see it someday. He certainly did go all out. It seems that he saw himself as royalty.

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  10. Wow! So gorgeous! As over the top as that pool is (and it sure is lavish!), it certainly looks inviting! Gorgeous photos and landscape xo

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    1. Hey there! Thanks so much! It does look inviting. Apparently, there are many more pools on the property, but not on the tours.

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  11. Beautiful place Pat, you got some really nice shots here, I had to laugh at the squirrel in front of the cannon.

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    1. Thanks Jimmy! The squirrel photo was pure luck.

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  12. Crazy house. However much money I had, I don't think I would ever build or buy anything so huge and over the top. It is cool though. Love the Stellar Jay!

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    1. Hi Marcy! I agree, as amazing as it is, it's a colossal waste of money. A lot of people and/or communities could have put some of that money to better use. Hope all is well with you!

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  13. such glamour! Love the golden statue, ladies wearing lamps on their heads not so much :)

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    1. I agree DEZ, some of it is waaayyy over the top.

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  15. I can't believe I've never visited there, and I lived in Santa Cruz for years and years. It's so beautiful, albeit ostentatious in every way.

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    1. Hi Robin! VERY ostentatious! My son went to to UCSC. Santa Cruz is an amazing, and confusing place.

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  16. What an amazing place Pat, yes I think it could be thought of as a folly, a pretty fabulous folly ☺ there are definitely a few art deco touches there, especially that swimming pool!

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    1. Thanks Grace! Oh yeah! A bit of art deco, and every other style.

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  17. Replies
    1. Hi fiona! Exactly! It was known as La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Castle).

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  18. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I should
    check things out. I like what I see so i am
    juyst following you. Look forwaqrd to looking aat your web pasge repeatedly.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Anon. I'm looking forward to your visits.

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  19. Wow. Just wow. I had no idea it was that huge. And luxurious. I don't actually know that much about it. Though of course, love Citizen Kane. The Patty Hearst saga - yeah remember that. A movie or two based on it too.
    Probably never get there - but you never know.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm going to check it out now.

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    1. Hi Anthony! If you are in the area, it is worth seeing. I've been on a few of the different tours, and I don't think I'll go on any others. Unless, they were free or greatly discounted.

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  20. Hello, what a lovely place and a great tour! The photos are awesome. I can only imagine what it would be like to live in such a grand place. Thanks for sharing your visit. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! Maybe it's because we were really poor for most of my childhood, but I can't really even imagine living there. You have a great weekend also.

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  21. Pat, this is a completely different world for me. Luxurious, fancy, colorful and so beautiful! And a bird on the last photograph is also exotic and so adorable.

    You shared with us some great moments of being in this beautiful place.

    A hug and best wishes to you.

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    1. Thanks so much Kaya! I agree that it is a beautiful place, but I would not like to live that way. Best wishes to you also...

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  22. Wow, the place is pretty impressive. So that's what you can do with lots of money. Kind of sad but obviously he needed to build himself a kingdom so he could proudly present his stature to the masses.
    Some wonderful photos Pat, I enjoyed the tour. Probably will never see it in person but that's ok.

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    1. Thanks Bill! This guy had several over the top residences. I agree about it being kind of sad. Seriously, 61 bathrooms. If you are ever in the area, it's worth a look-see, but I wouldn't make a special trip to see it.

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  23. Fun set of photos from Hearst Castle. I visited there many years ago so this brought back some great memories. It really is an amazing place.

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    1. Hi Ida! It is amazing, and many other things as well. Have a good weekend...

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  24. Beautiful castle. A must visit.

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  25. That's an amazing place. I meant to see it last time I was in the area but never did, now my chance is probably past.

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    1. Hi Al. I'm sure it will still be there, if you every get back here.

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  26. Amazing, the pool, the birds, and the work has been brilliant.

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    1. It is an amazing place Bob. It's almost too much to take in. It would be nice to have a full day or two to explore it all.

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  27. wow! Now that's fancy! It's a mix of a little bit of everything. Definitely an American castle! =)

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    1. Hi Sandy! Probably more like a mix of a LOT of EVERYTHING! I believe that almost all of the building materials were imported from Europe (hence the private wharf). Somehow, it still seems "Americian"

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  28. A gorgeous and captivating series, Patrick! Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Hello Linda! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, and comment. I appreciate it.

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  29. So much money - so little taste! Sorry - although I did find the squirrel image funny!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  30. cool, almost to large I think. Wonder if he knew it all. :)

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    1. Oh yeah! It is more than a bit over the top...

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  31. Wonderful shots of an amazing place. I went there in the 70s, 80s and 90s but not this century. It's worth a trip.

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    1. Thanks James! I went in each of those decades, as well as the OOs. It was worth it, but I think I'm done now...

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  32. Wow...... Fancy Place for sure.... OH YES---I remember the Hearst family --especially Patty.... That mansion reminds me a little of the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, NC....

    I have a good blog post today about our visit to a Slot Canyon in Arizona recently... You would enjoy seeing the pictures I think..
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Hi Betsy! Another thing they had in common, was thinking and/or acting like they were Royalty. I know you really like the Biltmore mansion, and I'd like to see it someday myself. I just took a peek at your post. I've been to that canyon. I believe it's Antelope Canyon. Right? I'll go back and look at it more in a bit. Thanks Betsy!

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  33. Wow! How beautiful! Parts of it are a little too opulent for me, but other parts I would gladly take off their hands. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have that kind of money.

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    1. It is beautiful, but like you, I think some it is over the top. I'd settle for a guest house (or two).

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  34. Your photos are wonderful! My husband and I did visit this spectacular house and took the tour. Hard to imagine that he also had zoo type animals roaming wild around the grounds.

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    1. Thanks Pat! I understand that he had the largest private zoo in the world.

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