Starting from Monterey, I continued my coastal ride on Highway 1. The part south of Monterey is probably the most beautiful part of this route, with a lot of vista points and a couple of interesting bridges. There were a few roadworks on the way, so it was not always possible to stop, but I enjoyed the view from the car, too – of course there was the usual fog in many places. There are not so many points of interest on this route, though – one of the more interesting stops was an elephant seal viewing area, where you can see those big sea mammals life in nature. There were a lot of them dozing at the beach, but they seemed to me rather small, so I guess those were primarily sea lions or female elephant seals. My first and only longer stop of this day was Hearst Castle about 100 miles south of Monterey. This 165-room complex was built by press tycoon William Randolph Hearst from the 1920s to 1940s with a lot of homages to ancient Greek and Italian architecture, luxury and material excess. It is surrounded by a huge area not open to the public, so the tour starts at a remote visitor center and you are brought to the castle by shuttle buses. After the impressive tour I also watched the well produced IMAX movie about the life of this exceptional person. Orson Welles’ movie “Citizen Kane” that has obvious parallels to the life of Hearst was not mentioned a single time, but of course this movie is not a very favorable portrait (if any).
My stay around Hearst Castle took quite long, so I drove directly on to Santa Barbara afterwards (another 100 miles), mostly on Interstate 101 as Highway 1 is not running along the coast here. I arrived at my hotel in Santa Barbara in the evening and was too tired from driving to have a look at this city in the dark, so I decided to spare that for the morning of my last day of the trip.