Friday, 4 November 2011

Sightseeing in San Diego

San Diego Old Town
This year's work-free sabatical culminated last week with a short trip to San Diego to attend the World Fantasy Convention. It was an awesome trip. I'm blogging about the convention itself elsewhere, but I did have a couple of days at the end for a spot of sightseeing...

Last Monday I trekked off with some friends to the San Diego Zoo, reputedly one of the greatest in the world. It certainly is large and impressive, and we didn't manage to see everything. But I got the general idea!

Highlights for me were the Giant Pandas (putting on a show with their bamboo), the eagles (so massive, although in disturbingly small enclosures), the hummingbird aviary (tiny birds like giant insects)...
Giant Panda

I think that what the animals are doing determines how interesting they are, so I wasn't too inspired by the sleeping polar bear, or the sleeping hippo, or the lazy gorillas... But the otter that swam down the 'stream' was pretty cool!

The next day I was own my own and took the trolley two stops from the hotel/resort to San Diego Old Town, which is a sprawling tourist destination comprising craft shops and reconstructed buildings from the early days of the town. It reminded me of a low-key and free version of Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.

Shrine for Day of the Dead
Festivities at Old Town were heightened for the two-day Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican festival celebrated in San Diego, owing I suppose to its proximity. This meant numerous alters, beautifully decorated, to commemorate specific individuals (e.g. Frieda Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe). It also meant lots of food specials (mostly Mexican! I ate a lot of Mexican while in San Diego), and artisan demonstrations. I had a lovely chat with the blacksmith (who seemed very keen to recruit interested parties to the craft), and bought HEAPS of stuff from assorted shops to cart home!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome home.

    Best of luck with your new adventure. Hope it leaves you lots of time to pursue the things in life that really matter to you, but is also interesting and engaging in its own right.