November 23, 2016
To Oceanside and San Clemente Pier
A final post for today - catching up on trips around from LA - this time with pictures of Ocenside and San Clemente Pier areas. Just enjoying ourselves - a break from learning about orrible istory and what our ancestors did to the natives and other immigrants.
San Juan Capistrano
On a theme of seeing Los Angeles by public transport, we visited the mission os San Juan Capistrano on Saturday - MetroLink train from LA's Union Station and back later in the day - an infrequent service by UK standards, but a good one by American ones.
Continuing on my theme, alas, from previous posts ... the Spanish came in, established their way of doing things with soldiers and missionaries and created these wonderful missions up and down the coast where they lived - with the natives living outside. Of the 21 missions, this one claims it's the best - I suspect they all do; it is beautiful, but I find myself going away with thoughts and sadnesses that perhaps I wasn't supposed to.
The great stone church was completed in 1806, but fell during an earthquake in 1812, the tower toppling on the building and killing 40. They celebrate, but I would suggest a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop experiment in construction beyond their knowledge which resulted in a huge loss of life after just 6 years.
There' a famous song (they tell me) about the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano ... well, I heard it played and didn't recognise it, but never mind. Apparently, swallows were regarded by the indigenous population as dirty birds and were unwelcome, but the Father told them they could come up to the mission and live there. Sure, they did for a couple of centuries, but in the last 20 years or so there's been such a major reconstruction work done that they've been driven away .... sad really, and it makes you wonder how much of what you see on the tour is real.
Perhaps I'm picking up my cynicism from the guide, who was heard to complain of boredom to one of her colleagues. Perhaps I'm cynical because the exit is through the shop. Or perhaps it's because of the tacky souvenir places around , represented in my picture by the cut out of The Pope.
I did enjoy the visit, the rides down and back, and the company. We ate where the Nixons had eaten "regularly" ... and we learned more of how this land developed over the past 300 years.
The oldest part of Los Angeles
From a walk around the oldest part of Los Angeles yesterday - 22nd November 2016. The oldest building in the city is the Adobe House (where the pictures of the Cacti and the dining rom are taken from) - and that's 3 years younger than our home in Melksham.
In the 19th Century, this part of the city was China Town - and there's a museum to Chinese American peoples there. We took a look and some of the conditions in which they lived and the persecution were truly shocking ... and the China Town was swept away to allow for the construction of Union Station which is close by. These days, the area's 'little Mexico' as you'll see from the colourful photos - and the areas's a lovely mix of all shapes and sizes and cultures. Concern at the storm clouds that have gathered at the election of Donald Trump to be next president; California did not vote for him, and there's a desire for th storm clouds to bring merely a gentle rain onto the area which is often parched, and not a deluge that washes it away in a tide of fear and discrimination.
Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
We're visiting family (both Lisa's and mine) in California for a few days, after a hectic early Autumn - and doing a few days of "the tourist thing" too. First real break away (if I've not overlooked anything) since the spring of last year, and I'm going to get very amateur for a couple of posts and share far more pictures than I should simply because I like them.
First series - from Sunday last, at Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, where people and place seem not to have aged.