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Today on the way down to Big Sur we decided to make a quick stop at the Carmel Mission. It’s right off of Hiway 1 and we’ve probably passed it 50 times and never stopped. Well, today we decided to stop.

It’s also called the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Here’s the wikipedia link. It’s a pretty place. What you can’t see in this picture is all of the swallows nesting in and around the bell tower. They are all over, chirping and flying around.

From Monterey Living

With a wonderful view over Monastery Beach.

From Monterey Living

 It’s really very pretty and serene. It’s also an active Monastery with a school and live in Nuns.

One of the things that I found very interesting was the similarities to some of the Scottish Kirks/Churches. Fleur de lis carved on the ceiling, motifs carved in stone on the walls, huge vaulted ceilings held up with massive wooden beams. The whole feel was similar to what you got in Scotland. Only about 1/10 the age. It’s only a hundred odd years old. (It was destroyed and rebuilt in the 1880’s according to wikipedia)

I didn’t take any pictures because there were a few people in the main church and unlike some bumpkins, I won’t disturb others to take a picture. Maybe some time I’ll get back and get a few pics of the stonework. It is facinating.

Over in the side yard you can occassionally get a wiff of something horrific. Well, we finally figured it out. It’s a Voodoo Lily, or stink Lily.

From Monterey Living

We have no idea where this thing came from. We didn’t plant it, and it’s actually growing inside of a different plant. Go figure. Anyhow, it’s also known as the Dracunculus Vulgaris, Voodoo Lily, Stink Lily, Devil’s Tongue, Dragon Lily, and Black Dragon. A lot of different names for a big purple stinky flower.

What’s interesting is that it’s next to a cement walk and on the other side of the walk about 2 1/2 feet away is the seed pod.

From Monterey Living

From what I’ve read it’s part of the same plant. I’ve also read that the stink only lasts a few days. Good thing or this plant would be headed for a quick demise.

We decided to take the girls down to Big Sur so that they could play in the river for a bit, then maybe get some lunch. Well, we made it down there okay, and even stopped at the Carmel Mission on the way, another blog post on that.

We took some sodas, sandwiches, and chips to snack on while at the river. Seems that’ now verboten! The Big Sur River Inn, which owns about the only easy river access in the area has now posted the following signs.

From Monterey Living

They have even gone so far as to have their own private Dick walk around threatening to kick people out if he thinks their food is from “outside” the Big Sur complex of overpriced stores/restaurants.

Needless to say we won’t be back any time soon, if ever. Which sucks because it used to be a great place to spend a nice summer afternoon. Oh well. Times change.

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June 2010
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