Miles from Monterey

13 Nov

We’d originally thought about going to Alcatraz on Saturday, but it turns out that all those stories about the cruise tickets selling out in advance are true, even when it’s not peak season. (We’ve learnt our lesson, and already have our tickets booked for next weekend.)

So, the back-up plan was to head to Monterey, and see the aquarium, Cannery Row, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

However, the first order of the day was to stop at the Alamo depot at San Jose Airport, and exchange our hire car. The Dodge Avenger that we’d got originally had developed an intermittent fault with the left indicators (or turn signals, as they call them over here). Every so often it would start flashing twice as fast as it should (as if it had an old-fashioned relay and a bulb had gone), and the rear light cluster would flash in odd patterns. Sometimes there was a beep from the dashboard too, just in case we hadn’t noticed the problem.

A call to Alamo’s 1-800 number (unfortunately, not free from a UK mobile), and they were happy for us to exchange it at our convenience. We drove in to the depot, got a receipt, got offered a choice of new car, and drove out in an almost brand-new Chevrolet Impala. Much nicer to drive than the old one: not so much wallow from the suspension, a more direct feel to the steering, and over twice the power. Must behave ourselves, I think the CHiPs are quite strict…

An easy, scenic drive down to Monterey, and we managed to get parked just off the famous Cannery Row without realising it to start with. Conveniently, the Aquarium is at one end of this, in one of the old cannery building, and the first thing you see when you go in is an exhibit of old boilers and machinery from one of the canneries.

I’ll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves, rather than trying to give a guided tour of the whole aquarium, which must be the biggest and best I’ve ever been in. But I guess their location does give them something of an advantage over Whitley Bay Sealife Centre…

[I took loads more photos than this, but the camera doesn’t really do justice to most of the exhibits; dark, blurry photos of fish-shaped objects aren’t particularly interesting.]

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Posted by on Tuesday 13 November 2012 in California


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