Last summer, I visited California for the second time. We toured southwards from San Francisco to San Diego, along the Pacific Coast Highway, and stopping along the way in Monterey, San Simeon, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
Not the "Old Faithful" geyser, as it turned out, but nevertheless quite a famous one, as there are only three in the world. (The others are in Yellowstone National Park and New Zealand). This particular one is close to Calistoga, at the northern end of the Napa Valley. In the valley, the temperature was over 100 degrees. Thank god for air-conditioning.
Worth the long drive up Petrified Forest Drive, just for the name I thought, therein was a bizarre tourist attraction. When a neighbouring volcano erupted, molten rock flowed into the trees, cooled and expanded, and thereby turned the trees to rock. Sadly, the trees turned into rock that looked, well, just like big stones. A pity...
The most northernly Vertigo location that we captured, Muir Woods specialises in giant redwoods. So giant, indeed, that one could easily stand inside one.
As bridges go, the Golden Gate Bridge makes for a nice photo, but cannot match the Bay Bridge for intrigue. This one is a mere single-carriageway, six-lane number; whereas its cousin to the east has two decks of five lanes and an island. Still, it doesn't have the setting.
Most images that people use to sum up San Francisco are either of cable-cars, steep hills, or a combination of the two. I eschew these clichés, with a picture of the new international terminal at the airport. This was taken as we waited for the coach to take us to the car rental people. Which was, predictably, a nightmare.