During my visit to San Diego, I spent one afternoon at the beautiful Balboa Park, which is known for the famous San Diego Zoo, but there are also tons of other things to see in the huge 1200 acre park.
Since I only had a few hours I decided not to go in any of the park’s 17 museums – that will have to wait for another trip. Instead I roamed around photographing the elaborate baroque architecture including the California Tower and Dome which house the Museum of Man.
The park was home to the first world’s fair, the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition which commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal. In preparation for the expo, many buildings were constructed in the flamboyant and ornamented Spanish-Renaissance style of architecture.
I decided to make an exception to my “no museums” rule when I heard about the Museum of Photographic Arts, but when I got there it was closed. All I could do was peer in the windows to get a glimpse of the display.
The one thing I really wanted to photograph was the famous reflecting lily pond in front of the botanical building. You know how I like icons! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got there and the pond had been drained and there was a big mud pit of construction going on.
Well, I didn’t research this one very well did I? Sigh.
The next stop was over the little bridge to the Desert Cactus Garden.
When Balboa Park first opened as the “City Park” in 1868, there wasn’t much there but scrub. But around 25 years later a woman who became known as “The Mother of Balboa Park” offered to plant 100 trees a year in the park plus donate trees and shrubs around San Diego in exchange for 32 acres of land within the park to be used as a commercial nursery.
In 1935 she built the cactus garden. I was astonished to see so many varieties of cacti and succulents I had never seen before.
When sunset came I returned to the fountain to make my last image of the day.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to Balboa Park with me!
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