Sunday, 14 November 2010

San Diego – A Great City

I arrived late in San Diego on the previous evening, so I didn’t get an opportunity to see the city before it got dark. I hadn’t planned on staying here, but I had ridden many more miles than I had expected in the previous two days, so I now had a spare day and I decided to spend it in this city, seeing what it had to offer. I am really glad that I did.

The view of San Diego across the water....












Named after Saint Didacus, San Diego has a population of 1.4 million and is in the top 10 of largest cities in the US. Unlike its near neighbour Los Angeles, the city feels very safe and was judged to be the 5th best place to live in the US by Money magazine.

At the heart of the city is the Gaslamp area, a small area dating back to 1867 that now houses restaurants, bars, night life and small shops, mainly centred and Fifth Avenue.

This Dublin Square Irish pub in the Gaslamp....


























A fire escape on an old building. I love the shapes and shadows here....


























A mural showing John Lennon in the centre, what I think is Jim Morrison on the right, but I am not sure who the woman is on the left. Janis Joplin perhaps? If it is, then maybe this is a mural depicting singers that died young, but I am not sure....




















Next to the Gaslamp area is Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team....







































Across the San Diego Bay is an island called Coronado which is connected to the main part of the city by an impressive bridge. I went to see the Hotel Del Coronado, a famous resort hotel built in 1888....





















My cousin Dean is a golf course expert, so I had to get a picture of the Coronado Municipal Golf Course. Looks good, eh Dean?.....


























Along the waterfront in San Diego is the Maritime Museum. This is HMS Surprise, a replica of the 18th century Royal Navy frigate Rose....


























This is Anne, who works for the museum. She was originally from the UK. she would quickly slit your gizzard if you didn’t enter the museum....


























I decided to visit USS Midway, an aircraft carrier moored at the waterfront. Next to the ship is a small park which contains a couple of interesting things, the first of which is a monument to the famous American comedian and entertainer, Bob Hope. The statue was in the shade, so I took a picture with a silhouette in mind. His profile is very recognisable....


























One of Bob Hopes great attributes was he often went overseas during wars and entertained the US troops. The monument reflects exactly that – he is entertaining a group of soldiers.....




















Nearby is a huge statue of a Navy man kissing a woman....


























The USS Midway is named after what is probably the most famous American sea fight, the Battle of Midway....














Looking down at the flight deck....







































The bridge.....




















The display of aircraft on the flight deck is very impressive and ex-servicemen are there to explain everything you ever wanted to know, and more, about the planes, take-offs and landings, plus a lot about life on board such a huge ship....

















































































































































































































The flags on the ships superstructure were very colourful and apparently spell “Gobble Gobble”, the significance of which escaped me....


























The sun was beginning to set as I left the USS Midway. I caught the last rays hitting these trees....


























I walked back through the Gaslamp area and tried to take a few night shots. I changed the ISO setting on my camera to “very high”, a decision I came to regret the next day!

I was happy with a few of the pictures I took....































































































Overall, I thought San Diego was a fantastic city. I could easily live there!

10 comments:

Eve said...

This is a great post Gary. I really love the USS Midway photos! Thanks for that! It looks like a beautiful city. I love the Bob Hope profile...it is perfect!!
Thanks again!

bobskoot said...

Gary:

a great spare day enjoying the sights. When we were there we didn't explore the city, we instead drove to Tijuana where we spent the day. We stayed at the Islandia, in the Coronado area and spent some time at Sea World.

Please move there and make sure to have a spare "guest" room (& bike). Thanks

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Dave said...

I have followed your account since before you arrived here - so jealous. Now I have gotten possessive, I want you to keep riding and writing so that I can tag along. Tell England to wait there is still a lot of good riding to be done across the south on your way back to the Atlantic. Thanks for taking all of us with you, for making something real that most of us can only dream about. You are gonna' be missed...

George F said...

yea, high ISO at night = noise :-( but you got the pictures and memories trumps up "no pictures" ;-)
San Diego is a place I've never been but would love to visit. Nice pictures of the Midway. Glad you had a good time.

motoroz said...

The USS Midway is huge. I have visited a carrier in South Carolina it is amazing how big they are. Great pictures. Glad you enjoyed your night and day in San Diego.

Gary France said...

Eve – Thanks! The USS Midway was quite something to see and try to take pictures of, with hundreds of other people around! I liked seeing the Bob Hope memorial – he was a brilliantly funny guy.

Bob – I wondered about going to Tijuana, but decided against it on a motorbike! When would you like Jackie and I to move to San Diego and do you have any particular area in mind?

Dave – Thanks for your kind words. I am certainly pleased that I have been able to share my good fortune about riding across such a great country with so many people. England could wait a little longer, but I miss both my wife and my home!

George – I am pleased I got the night pictures, but not so pleased at the end of the next day when I discovered I had forgotten to change my ISO setting back..... If you get the chance to go to San Diego, then grab it, for it is a great city.

Oz – They are truly massive!

Anonymous said...

Gary:
I have thoroughly enjoyed following your trip on your blog. I am sure that you must be missing home, but I will certainly miss reading your accounts every day. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure. Have a safe trip back home.
DCC

Gary France said...

DCC - I am pleased that you have enjoyed my blog. I will continue to post on here, but not every day! I am back home now in the cold of an English winter - it seems a long way from Southern California!

Erik said...

Gary, I'd be willing to bet that the flags on the USS Midway spelled "Gobble Gobble" in reference to the US Holiday in November, Thanksgiving. That's the sound Turkeys make... Just a thought.

Gary France said...

Erik - how could I have missed that? Of course! You must be right.