Big Sur is a section of the Californian coast, often said to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. We left the cozy town of Carmel early in the morning, leaving nothing but memories and a pair of sunglasses in the sand.

As we drove south along Highway 1, the famed rugged beauty of Big Sur soon became apparent. In the Carmel Highlands we passed by 157 Spindrift Road, the dramatic villa residence of Sharon Stone’s character in Basic Instinct.

The area is full of impressive viewpoints at every turn and it was impossible not to stop and admire the photogenic bridges of Bixby Creek Bridge and Rocky Creek Bridge.

Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur.

The road turned inwards from the sea for a bit, which was a perfect opportunity to stop and have pancakes for lunch. I saw a sign that read “Fine $1000 for littering”, and I can understand why.

“Cashmere hills filled with evergreens
Flowin’ from the clouds down to meet the sea
With the granite cliff as a referee
Crimson sunsets and golden dawns
Mother deer with their newborn fawns
Under Big Sur skies and that’s where I belong.”
— The Beach Boys, California Saga (1973)

We stopped at Ragged Point and feasted on a water melon, before being ambushed by a bunch of hungry squirrels. The scene quickly turned from Ace Ventura to Alfred Hitchcock, so we hurried away from the loud critters. We arrived in San Simeon at dusk, warming up by a fire at the beach.

Highway One One of many stops along Highway One.

The next morning we visited Hearst Castle, the palatial estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst which is situated on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This amount of opulent luxury must have been staggering when it was built about hundred years ago.

The complex contains 165 rooms and countless expensive items, including 19th dynasty Egyptian statues in the garden. The outdoor Neptune Pool features Greek and Roman materials bought at auction in New York during the 1920s, can be seen in the movie Spartacus (1960).

Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle.

We continued south on Highway 1 in our dusty car, visiting places such as Cambria, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

The highway once again left the coast, going east towards the area many people recently saw in last year’s movie Sideways. The two main characters stayed at the Windmill Inn in Buellton, but we didn’t stop there and made our way to Solvang instead. This is a Danish village complete with Danish flags and Smørrebrød. Since I am a movie buff, I just had to make a wave move with my hand through the open window as a homage to the Sideways scene.

Solvang Danish village Solvang.

After Las Cruces we switched to Route 101 going south through Santa Barbara, where the Depeche Mode reference would be complete if we could find the house of Martin L Gore. The traffic increased to a frenzy and it was goodbye to the scenic turns of the Big Sur.

“In the western sky
My kingdom come
So still, so dark all over Europe
And I ride down the Highway 101
By the side of the ocean headed for sunset
For the kingdom come”
— Sisters of Mercy, Black Planet (1985)


No comments yet.

Leave a reply