Hearst Castle

Trip Start Sep 11, 2009
Trip End Oct 21, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, October 10, 2009

We booked ourselves onto the 1210 Hearst Castle tour, and allowed ourselves plenty of time to make a small detour to visit the elephant seals again.

We did the "Experience Hearst Castle" tour, which is recommended for first-timers. Hearst Castle was never meant to be a “castle”, but was built as the private residence of William Randolph Hearst. All his childhood dreams and inspirations from travels in Europe became a reality in his home. It features 165 rooms!!!! During our 1 hour tour, we only managed to see the “assembly” room, one of the living rooms, one dining room, the games room, the cinema and one guest house (there are 3), which in itself has 8 bedrooms. We did however see both the indoor and outdoor pools, which were oh-so-very inviting.

The opulence of man and his home is indescribable! For the most part, the design of the house seemed to be a mish-mash of different European architecture styles. I found the exterior to be ostentatious, but still splendid. However, the interior left alot to be desired.... and it was certainly not to my taste!!

After the tour, we even stayed to watch the National Geographic movie about the man and the building of his house. Although the movie was cheesy in parts, I was inspired by the story of how his father George Hearst first came to find his fortune, by discovering silver and trekking it all the way (on foot and horses) across the Sierra Nevada to San Francisco to get it verified. I also had a certain respect for William Hearst himself, that his own fortune was self-made through his publishing business, rather than simply inherited. At least he himself earned the $10m required to build the house!

We would have liked to do Tour 2, which explores Hearst's private quarters, the library and some of the other bedrooms, but it seems too much to spend another $24 per person for another tour.
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