Tag Archives: San Diego

Travelling through California

Thursday 2nd October – Friday 3rd October
San Diego to Esalen, USA

From San Diego, we moved north through California, to a place called Esalen (of which more in our next post). The journey was simply spectacular, and the photos just don’t do it justice, but here’s a bit about what we saw.

Train journey, San Diego to Salinas
An early start on Thursday – the alarm went off at 4.30am! Our train from San Diego (called the Pacific Surfliner) was at 6.05am. As we left the city we followed the coast and watched the sun rise over the beaches to the north of the city. There were plenty of surfers already in the water as the sun rose.



We had a short time at Los Angeles station, before we boarded the Coast Starlight, which goes all the way to Seattle.


Travelling through the sprawl of Los Angeles seemed to take an age (we must have spent at least an hour in total passing through the city and its suburbs). But eventually we left the suburbs behind, passing huge amounts of agriculture.


And, especially in the Santa Barbara area, beaches and bays one after another.




The Coast Starlight train, and Joanna in the Sightseer Lounge Car.



We finally arrived at our stop, Salinas, at 8pm. Salinas is an agricultural centre in California, and was the hometown of the author John Steinbeck.

Bus and van journey, Salinas to Esalen
A slow start on Friday, and after a long sleep we headed to Salinas Transit Center to catch a local bus to Monterey, where we had a chance to relax for a few hours.


We were picked up in Monterey, and driven south to Esalen along the coast road in Big Sur – surely one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The road winds along the coast, giving the most beautiful views of the bays and beaches along the way.

All in all, the most spectacular journey imaginable!

Fact of the day
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California Dreaming: San Diego

Monday 29th September – Wednesday 1st October
San Diego, USA

When you fly into San Diego, you really do fly into San Diego. As you descend to the airport, you seem to barely miss the tops of the high rise buildings in downtown. Then you can just see water. And finally – seemingly just in time – the runway comes into view. 

The flight from New Orleans took four hours. There were plenty of signs we had arrived in California: The beautiful sunshine; palm trees everywhere; and the yoga mat provided in our hotel room. 

Gaslamp District and harbour
We absolutely loved San Diego, which is in the far south of California, just 17 miles from the Mexican border. It’s perhaps the most laid-back city we’ve ever had the opportunity to visit.

We spent Monday afternoon and Tuesday exploring the downtown area. We were staying in the Gaslamp District, a part of downtown with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops.

On the waterfront is the Seaport District (with a range of shops and restaurants) and the harbour area, which has a number of tourist attractions. This includes the Star of India. Built in 1863, it’s the oldest ship in the world that still goes to sea. It carried British emigrants to New Zealand, rounded Cape Horn 21 times and even survived being frozen in Arctic ice. 


Pacific Beach
On Wednesday, we decided to hit the beach! There are lots of beaches within easy reach of the city centre. Pacific Beach was about a 45-minute bus ride away, giving us the opportunity to paddle in the Pacific Ocean! 




There were plenty of surfers in the water, and walking alongside the beach you can enjoy watching a procession of skateboarders, cyclists and joggers glide past. 




We could easily have spent more time in San Diego, but there’s more of California to explore!

Advert of the day
Spotted in downtown San Diego. Newcastle Brown Ale, how could you?!