Did you know there’s a stately home near San Francisco – no need to visit Europe to see one!
Filoli is a 650 acre estate and grand stately home in 16 acres of formal gardens, to the west of I-280 level with Redwood City. It was built on surplus land by the man whose water company created Crystal Springs reservoir, the long narrow lake that fills the San Andreas fault to the west of the property. The rich gardens were subsequently filled by its next owner, a shipping magnate. It now belongs to America’s National Trust for Historic Preservation.
This is an unusual view of Yosemite Valley in California, taken during the spring floods. Yosemite Valley always has places that are beautiful and tranquil despite the enormous crowds around the visitor centre and the car parks. Just walk away for 5 minutes and you’re in wilderness country with bears and deer.
If you love waterfalls like I do, spring is the ideal time to visit – I always used to go in late May or early June after a certain trade show had brought me to San Francisco. You can see here the distant thundering of Yosemite Falls as the water descends the 740m in two stages. The lake in the foreground is formed by the flooding of the meadows on the valley floor by the Merced river. You can see the same view without the added lake.