Saturday, June 09, 2007


I have been silent all the past week, and didn't even participate to the weekly Presto Pasta or post on my 'spiritual blog', because we had special guests! Lucas's parents came to visit us, and we went with them to Yosemite Park for three days. I absolutely loved it. I was amazed, I wouldn't have ever expected anything like that. I thought we were going to see some trees... and yeah, there were trees, but what trees! And how many other wonderful landscapes and creatures.. I'll summarize the visit in this post, but you can click here to see all my pictures.
We left on Sunday around 10.30 in the morning. On our way, we passed by this amazing field of windmills, which I thought were worth a picture:
We arrived around 3.30 to El Portal, the little town before Yosemite where we had our hotel (we stopped for lunch in Merced, in a nice Mexican restaurant). So, before dinner, we still had time to go for a walk, and see our first fall: Bridal Veil Falls.

Yosemite is well-known for its falls: they all derive from the melting of the snow and of the glaciers, and so they have a nice flow only between March and June-July, more or less. The ones we saw were all amazingly beautiful.
Another thing that hit me favourably was that there are paths for every level of difficulty. For example, getting to the base of Bridal Veil Falls is so easy that even a wheel chair can arrive. And at the same time, there are people who do rock climbing on El Capitan, this huge block or granite:
Before dinner, we stopped by this little 'beach' along the river that crosses the valley. The water was so transparent, and the atmosphere was peaceful and breath taking, close to the sunset.
For dinner, we met Jim's friend, Sam. He invited us to the Restaurant that's at the Yosemite Lodge. It's a very nice place.. since this is also a food blog, I have to post a picture of the Tuna Steak that I had:
Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of our Creme Brulee, which was absolutely delicious.. now I want to try to make it myself. :)
It was a very pleasant evening, I really enjoyed meeting Sam. He knows everything about Yosemite, and he brought us to see Yosemite Falls by night, which was quite an experience. Especially at night, you really feel how powerful the water is, and moves a lot of air, which creates a cold wind.
The day after, we went to the Mariposa Grove, where there are some of the oldest sequoia trees in the world. It's a long drive to get there, but the views are very pretty. This is a place where we stopped, and could see the valley with the Bridal Veil falls:
And just to show at least one picture of us, here we are:
During the drive, we also caught a sight of this graceful creature:
At the Mariposa Grove, again, there are many loops with various levels of difficulty, and even a small train if someone really doesn't want to walk.
The trees are a spectacle hard to imagine. Sequoia trees can live thousands of years. They fall when the roots are too old to bear the weight of the whole tree.
Just in case the dimensions weren't clear, here is Jim as a reference. :)
These next trees are called 'The bachelor and the three graces' - a family of giants. :)
Here they are, again, against the sky.
But this is the tree that really filled me with awe: the Grizzly Giant.
This tree is estimated to be 2700 years old. Its branches are as big as trees, and they fold downward because of their own weight. It's a gigantic creature, the power of which can be felt by approaching it. It's amazing to think that it was born from a very tiny seed.
We left the grove and had lunch at one of the tables close to the Wawona hotel (one of the very expensive hotels that are in Yosemite). I love picnics in the park!
We had a friend at lunch with us:
:) In the afternoon, we drove all the way up to Glacier Point. Again, one can drive and have just an easy walk around the point, like we did, but it's also possible to hike 4 miles all the way up from the valley, like Sam did. :) So, we had it easy (which was probably good for my knees..), and could enjoy with not much effort wonderful views such as these:
Vernal (low) and Nevada (top) falls
The Half Dome.
Yosemite falls (upper and lower), the valley, and the hanging rock.
Another view of the valley, and the steep side of the Half Dome.
And what do you think of this picture? :)
And here is another small creature:
On the last day, we did the most challenging hike, to Vernal Falls. Lucas and I arrived almost to the top (not quite, also because we wanted to test my knees on less than all the 700 steps that we needed to climb to get to the top). The fall is gorgeous, and being so close to it was a powerful experience. Imagine to hear the loud noise of the water falling down, and getting all wet with the cold droplets hitting you.
And what a wonder! When the sun was shining, we saw many raimbows, everywhere, created by the light and the water.
This was our last hike. We left, with the strong desire of coming back soon and visit some more of this huge park. In fact, we saw just a very corner of it.. We also want to go for more challenging hikes, all the way up to Nevada Falls, for example. Hopefully this will happen soon!

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