Balboa Park

Our visit to the U.S. truly feels like a vacation. Finally we are stationary. No packing and unpacking, no jumping on buses, no figuring out where to stay for the night. For the time being, we are staying in San Diego, southern California’s second largest city and the place we used to call home before moving to Berlin.

balboa park

This is the perfect time to introduce some of San Diego’s worthy attractions. And why not start with Balboa Park, the recreational inner-city park we used to walk to from our old Fifth Avenue apartment. Southern California being quite dry, most of the park’s vegetation is made up of cacti, succulents, palms, eucalyptus trees, and patches of grass fighting to stay green in the constant sun. And although the park is not easy to navigate due to many crisscrossing canyons and the 163 Freeway which runs right through, it receives about 14 million visitors a year and is the third most visited park in the United States.

This success is due in part to the cultural attractions. Balboa Park is to San Diego what Museum Island is to Berlin – a conglomeration of museums offering anything from science to art. Most of the collections are housed in buildings constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.

balboa park

To this day, a lot of the park still looks the same. Newer add-on construction was built in the same Spanish Colonial style and can hardly be distinguished from the well-maintained older structures dating back almost 100 years. Yes, almost a century! There you go. Who says the United States doesn’t have any history? Just look at Balboa Park. 🙂

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