Right at the southwest corner of the United States is the pretty city of San Diego, which like the rest
of California has an abundance of good weather and good living. There are pleasant beaches and
fun nightlife, as well as some diverting historical attractions. The city is built around a natural
harbour, and hence has been a US naval based for a long time.
San Diego was the last stop in our 2010 tour of the California coastline, before we headed back inland
bound for Las Vegas. We spend a night in the Gas Lamp district of downtown, followed by the Pacific
Beach area the following night, also replete with bars. Perhaps the highlight for me was visiting
the Del Coronado hotel, which I'd first seen many years earlier in the movie "Some Like It Hot".
Downtown San Diego and the boats in the marina. The city centre is compact and pleasant to walk around,
but also well connected with the airport barely a couple of miles away, and Interstate 5 sweeping
right around the edge.
Adjacent to the downtown area is the Gas Lamp district, so called for its old-school street lighting,
although no longer powered by gas.
The 19th century Star of India sits now as a museum ship at the San Diego Maritime Museum. Built in
1863, she used to ply the routes between the
and New Zealand, before sitting for nearly 40 years
prior to restoration.
But the centrepiece attraction at San Diego harbour must be the USS Midway, a 1945 aircraft carrier
which saw active service throughout the
war and Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf in
1990. She was decommissioned during the 90s and set up as a museum ship in San Diego in 2004. She
is quite a contrast to the Kiev which I visited in
The Del Coronado Hotel is the grand old dame of San Diego, with a prime location facing out to the Pacific
Ocean, and an illustrious history to match. The hotel was used as the location for 1959's "Some
Like It Hot", ostensibly in Florida, with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and the incomparable Marilyn
The courtyard at the Del Coronado. The hotel itself was only used for exterior shots in the movie,
the rest was done in a studio.
Inside the Del Coronado's reception area, with as much dark wood panelling and chandeliers as you'd
expect for a hotel of this vintage and standard.
Beach view of the Del. It was here on the sand that Marilyn Monroe asked Jack Lemmon whether he liked jazz,
to which he replied "well, some like it hotů"
At the tip of Point Loma peninsula is the Cabrillo National Monument, celebrating the landing of Juan
Luis Cabrillo who was the first European to set foot on the west coast of what would later be the
United States, in the 1500s. Naturally, he claimed the entire area for the
Also at Point Loma is Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a war graves site not unlike those that can
be found around the northern coast of
Up the coast a little is the Pacific Beach area, which gets a bit of cloud occasionally as you can see.
The overcast grey didn't deter the surfers though, keen to catch a wave.