Looks like I'm set to visit Hearst Castle every 10 years, so it was time for my 3rd visit :) It was a quick 45mn from Paso Robles.
Signing up for tours is tricky, the website was entirely broken and the phone lines didn't work either. It's also unclear how much time you need between tours, because the main issue is that they force you to take the bus up and down for each and every tour, which wastes 40mn and gets very annoying when you do 3 or 4 tours. By the I remembered having done 3 tours last time, and how I regretted it with all the bussing, as well as the 3rd tour being less essential (kitchen and cottages). Honestly CA parks sucks for not offering combined tours that are back to back, but they probably don't do it because of lack of bathrooms and food at the top|
I booked the first 3 tours, then remembered, and cancelled the 3rd tour to have moe time left over for the rest of the day in Paso Robles.
Thankfully I got some nice shots from the air the previous day, which give a good idea of the land:
private runway that people outside the Hearst family, cannot use
castle in the sky
view of the unfinished wing that CA Parks is not allowed to finish
Long story short, Hearst was a rich man with somewhat questionable taste who bought lots of things and tried ot make it all fit in his ever growing ranch house (only later renamed to Castle). It's interesting to see, but a bit weird at the same time too.
Took the 2nd bus up (9:20) for the grand tour and then went to the upstairs tour right afterwards at 10:10. Pictures below as a composite of both tours. If anyone has to pick, the upstairs tour is better than the main tour in my opinion:
seen from the castle, the runway was tempting :)
actual sphinx from egypt
Time to get in:
OMG, ketchup and terrible mustard
Upstairs has nice rooms of all types:
Nice views outside:
The last bit is of course the indoor swimming pool that is beautiful:
After being done with the Casle, just up the road a bit, there is Elephant Seal Vista Point, missed it last times but not this time:
Nice little half day trip from Paso Robles that gave enough time left to see other things in Paso Robles