Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Today we drove over to San Juan Capistrano.  It's an interesting drive.  There's only one route from the Temecula/Murrieta area to the coast.  It's a two lane road that climbs up 2,000 feet, and then down 2,000 feet.  It's unfortunate that there are zero shoulders on the road, it would make a great bicycle ride.
When we arrived in San Juan Capistrano we walked down to the Los Rios Historic District.  The first thing we saw was a working train station.  There were many people out taking the train.

This is the old train station.  The new one is over one street.  It is a gorgeous building.

The Los Rios neighborhood dates from 1794.  There are several original adobe houses remaining.  This is the entrance to the Rios House.

This is the Rios and Rios law firm.  Wouldn't you love to go to work on these grounds?  They're just lovely.

More of the spectacular California flora.  These are vines, they're everywhere.

Then it was on to the Mission, it was founded in 1776 by the the Spanish Franciscans.  

There are two ponds with water lilies and koi.

They're just spectacular.

This is the birthplace of the California wine industry (according to the museum).  This vat was covered at one time and this is where the wine was fermented.

Nests built by the famous swallows.  I can't figure out why the return of migratory birds was declared a miracle.  Anyway, it was; a popular song was written about their return, and tourists flocked by the gazillions to see them arrive in early March.  Unfortunately they don't come here anymore.  Urbanization has decreased the bug population, development has created too much noise, and the birds have decamped elsewhere.  They migrate 12,000 miles a year to and from the southern hemisphere.

This is the Great Stone Church, begun in 1797, it took nine years to complete.  This is a model of how it looked.

There was an earthquake in 1812 during morning mass.  The walls crumbled and the domes caved in, killing 40 Native Americans.

The Serra Chapel, which dates from 1788. The altar is from Barcelona, and is made of hand-carved wood with a gold leaf overlay.  It's estimated to be over 400 years old.

The Sacred Garden.

After the Mission, we drove down to Dana Point.  We were walking around the marina and ran into this gentleman with his eight parrots.  That's a Blue and Gold on the left and a Scarlet on the right.  He has a trick where he counts to three, raises them above his head and they kiss and preen.  Notice how good their tails look, they're long and unbroken.

Harley, the cockatoo, dances and sings on the count of three.

These kids were so cute.  He put Blue Crowned Conures on their arms, and the kids just froze.  He finally suggested to their mother that she should go get the camera.  He kept telling the kids to breathe.

These birds won the parrot lottery.  They spend time out of their cages, stand on their human and get time out in the sun.

The ocean.

It was a good day.  We are now really out of tourist opportunities.
We've got at least one more day here, maybe two.  The front brakes are down to 5% so they'll have to be fixed.  There's still a little body work yet to be done.  So far we like this facility.

1 comment:

  1. What a great and colorful & interesting day! Thanks for taking us along. Love this post. Good luck on the brakes!