So here we are on day 5 of our cruise, pulling into our southernmost port of call at sunrise – Monterey.
Today’s arrival was different than the others. For the first time in my limited cruising experience the ship remained anchored in the bay.
Which meant we would be ferried to shore by tender, a little boat like this one below.
I wasn’t looking forward to it. I mean really – so many people – in so many little boats? Surprisingly it worked fine. The departure times were staggered by group so there was little waiting and everything moved smoothly. Our group was based on our shore excursion.
Now the thing about cruising is you only have so much time on shore, which means you have to make the hard choices. Monterey is famous for its Aquarium but we’d been there before. So we chose a trip to Carmel along the famous 17 mile drive.
17 Mile Drive
According to Wikipedia, “17-Mile Drive is a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula in California, much of which hugs the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions, including the Lone Cypress, Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees. The drive serves as the main road through the gated community of Pebble Beach..”
We were happy to be on a bus after walking all over San Francisco the day before. We could relax and leave the driving to someone else. And the tour guide was a knowledgeable local who shared lots of stories – about the (rich) folks whose homes we would pass on our way to Pebble Beach and Carmel.
There were nature stops too. Our first was at Bird Rock, shared by sea lions, harbor seals, and many birds including brown pelicans, cormorants and gulls.
The road we traveled went through forests of Monterey Cypress which only grow here.
We stopped by the ‘Lone Cypress’ which unfortunately lost half itself in a storm last year. No, not this one –
Next up was Pebble Beach Golf Course where we neither ate nor drank nor played golf, though these folks did.
Maybe next time.
We arrived at the small town of Carmel – where Clint Eastwood was once mayor – for lunch and shopping.
I wished we’d had more time. It’s clearly worth longer than the hour and a half we’d been allotted. We’ll add it to our list of future road trips.
Then it was back to Monterey where we were ferried back to our ship,
for a lovely dinner
The next two days would be spent at sea as we headed back to the Pacific Northwest for our final stop in Victoria before returning to Seattle.
Stay tuned for that! 🙂
Monterey means one thing to me, the Monterey Jazz Festival. From Lionel Hampton, to Chet Baker, I wish that I could have seen them in concert.
The photos are exceptionally good, Susanne. And that dinner does look delicious indeed. I have just eaten Lasagna with garlic bread, but I still want what you had! 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks so much Pete. I kept hearing two musical refrains in my head on this trip. “73 men sailed up from the San Francisco Bay” and “Down in Monterey.” They’re still with me. And the dinner was great. 😊
Your photos are absolutely stunning, Susanne and it sounds like you had a great time exploring Monterey. I don’t think there’s anything as beautiful as the Pacific coastline that’s adorned with beautiful cypress trees. Thanks for sharing, yet another beautiful place for my travel wish list 😀
Thank you so much for your comment! It was a wonderful trip and I wouldn’t be surprised if we do it again someday. 😊
Did you see any sea otters? I am a sea otter fanatic and was thrilled to see them in Monterrey.
Yes! We saw sea otters and sea lions and seals. And while at sea we saw some kind of dolphins or porpoises leaping in the waves from the ship. I loved them all! 😍
I am so glad. What a treat.
I lived in Marina, just a few miles from Monterey for a couple of years in my very early 20s and attended Monterey Peninsula College. It was fun living there, because everything is so pretty plus you get to see sea otters! Then for years I brought my Spanish classes on a field trip from Fresno to the Defense Language Institute’s yearly open house which is super fun! 😊Your photos are great, as always!
What fun! I wish we’d had more time to explore. So it will require a return trip, either by land or by sea! 🙂
It’s such a beautiful drive along the California Coastline there as well…terrific photos!
Thanks John. I wish we’d had more time but a cruise just gives you a taste at each port. This is worthy of an entire road trip as you well know. Which is on my list! 🙂
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