My first stop this day was Mission San Carlos Borromeo Carmelo , aka Mission Carmel, which I had not visited since the 80's. I arrived simultaneously with a bus full of school kids, and since I am famously child-phobic, I hit the road for Big Sur. Luckily, by the time I rounded back to Carmel the small fry were long gone.
Father Serra was a revered personage back in my days as a Catholic Kid. Since then his reputation has soured , muddied with accusations of abuse of the native population, ranging from simple paternalism to slavery. Father Serras grave site is here in the basilica at Mission Carmel. I stood before it , but took no photos. I thought only of the wonderful buildings I have visited along El Camino Real , the beautiful remnants of Old California .
This mission has gardens, nicer gardens than most I have visited. Not cutting edge, but well designed and heavy with plants that thrive in this mild maritime climate on the Monterey Peninsula.
Doesn't any plant look great against the adobe walls ?
Someday I will tell the story of the Cup of Gold Vine-Solandra maxima-a main character in my walk to school in the 50's. Here it draped nicely over the mission walls.
Then there was Big Sur..