Back into the fifties in California

It happened a lot of times when I was in the US that I found myself in a movie. Well, the feeling of it. Police cars always make me think someone is watching a movie at high volume. Hugh cars like pickups remind me immediately the United States. And it happened a few times entering a restaurant.

Like a Taco shop on the way to Los Angeles. I just entered the shop and felt in the fifties. Soft colors, old tables and benches, one Mexican man sitting lonely eating his tacos, background music… It just hit me! I loved it a lot. The most beautiful in this Taco shop was that it seemed so original so normal.. here time just stood still.

Of course we were also at a few vintage car shows and oftentimes I found shops with vintage clothes, from the fifties and sixties. Had a lot of fun even to try some dresses, they were so nice! Like the music I could listen ..

In L.A. We were later at Mel’s Drive-in. That is a kind of restaurant/cafeteria like the fifties. Nice as well but it seemed to me much less original. Like done for passionates of those times. Of course the jukeboxes were the best!

We were in others as well but non so ‘original’ like the Taco shop somewhere I don’t remember. I just loved it! And I had no petticoat on….

Mel’s Drive-in, Los Angeles, California/USA:

For further information:
Mel’s Drive-in

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Please, Please, Mr. Postman, Is There A Letter For Me…

Mail is today not anymore the same like it was once. I remember well when I was young how often I ran after school to see if Mr. Postman put a letter for me in the mailbox. As a teenager I had a whole lot of pen pal friends from all over the world and of cause some of them were even more ‘exciting’ than others. No day I had no letter those times.

Today it’s different. We have Internet and sending mails so easily, seconds later the letter is in the postbox of the other. But you have to sit at the computer. Even faster is now sending text messages. They are always available, reaching one while waiting in the cue at the supermarket, while driving on the highway or when with other friends. So easy and fast. And it’s nice. But the real great feeling of running every day to the letter box and being excited if there is a postcard, a word of the one who you are in love with or the friend traveling in the world.. that is gone. And not because of the age but because of the technology. Young people don’t even know how it feels… And they miss some real great emotion.

So when I was in the United States lately I saw these mail boxes and had to ‘shoot’ them. They are still so unusual for European people. And so nostalgic as well as they remind you old feelings. OK, as an adult there are more bills than nice postcards from friends visiting Morocco or even a love letter but still I think they give you a certain excitement. I can see that when I send postcards to friends, the day the postcard arrives I get excited text messages: ‘Your postcard arrived. So happy, thank you!’ I make a huge difference just by sending a colorful picture by POST, with a stamp and with some nice words on it.

Post, mail, letters, cards, notes.. they are all the same and still highly appreciated by everyone. Wish we could go back in those times sometimes.. though I love to stay in nearly immediate touch with my loved ones by email and texting. But a letter you can put under your cushion and fall asleep smiling and smelling the paper he/she wrote on…

Ramona, California/USA:

For further information:
Ramona events and attractions

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A Tall Woman’s Love

“The Long Woman’s Grave or “The Cairn of Cauthleen” is the grave of a Spanish noble woman who married Lorcan O’Hanlon, the youngest son of the “Cean” or Chieftain of Omeath. On the death of the Cean he ordered that his lands be divided between his two sons, Conn óg and Lorcan. However Conn óg tricked his brother Lorcan by bringing him up to the Lug or hollow in the mountains at Aenagh, telling him that he would give him the land” as far as he could see”. The mist and the bleakness of the hollow was Loracan’s only legacy. However Lorcan owned a ship and begun trading in the East, making his fortune and becoming prosperous. On one of his voyages to Cadiz, Spain he bravely saved the lives of a Spanish nobleman and his daughter. Lorcan was enchanted by Cauthleen, a descendent of the great O’ Donnells’ of Ulster and fell in love with her. The pair made a handsome couple; she was 7ft tall, only three inches smaller than Lorcan. Cauthleen was already engaged to be married but was wooed by Lorcan’s professions of love and the promises of the good life that they would have back in Omeath. The pair eloped when the couple arrived in Carlingford Lough the locals were enchanted by this tall beauty adorned with jewels. The couple set along the mountain path until they came to the Lug or Hollow in the rocks. Lorcan bade his bride to stand in the centre and look around as far as she could see as he “Was Lord of all she could survey”. Cauthleen looked around, so great was her disappointment and the realisation of what she had left behind in Spain, she fell to the ground and died. Lorcan was horrified that his duplicity had caused his bride to die and flung himself into the murky waters of the marsh at the crossroads. His body was never recovered. The locals found the long womans’ body, and dug a grave for Cauthleen in the “Lug Bhan Fada” (Long woman’s hollow) where she lay. Each person laid a stone on the grave to raise her burial cairn and here she sleeps today in the hollow of her disappointment and unfilled promises.”

This is the story I heard of when I was introduced to a beautiful mountain area near to Carlingford. I was one day out with a long time friend visiting in the north of Ireland a little wonderful town. It is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland, so I was told. And I can confirm.

But outside in the nearby mountains there is an incomparable nature as well. The soft hilly mountains are grown with heather, that wonderful pink flower bush that grows in many places like this.

And there was a special place, called the Grave of the Long Lady. This tall Spanish lady impressed the (I guess must shorter) Irish people when she came as wife back to her husbands home place. Unfortunately she did what most people still do today: they expect something. And are disappointed when they don’t get the expected. That’s what happened to the tall Spanish woman when she saw the whole land of his husband. She expected to see what I saw – until the horizon. But she came here on a day full of mist and so she could see barely more than the hill itself. Her disappointment cost her life – most of the people today will get only angry and claim for refund.

I don’t think that the woman was tall as the grave long, but the place is amazing and the story heartbreaking. So I had a nice romantic story in an amazing surrounding out of Carlingford. Who knows the truth of this story? Please tell me though…

Carlingford, Ireland:

For further information:
Carlingford and Mourne

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Magical Paintings with a Mysterious Meaning

During my US stay there was my biggest wish to go to Santa Barbara as a very private reason. After what I wanted to do here we had enough time to do some sight-seeing I haven’t done previously. Though I have never been to the Santa Ynes Mountains we had a day trip to the San Marcos Pass and into the mountains to visit a few places. One was the painted cave of the Chumash people.

Chumash were the largest tribe living in the Californian area and the today Santa Barbara was there main city then called Syukhtun. They lived here for millennia before the contact to white people and the change of life for ever.

From the originally 10-15.000 people today there are again around 5.000 Chumash. They still have their own language alive but spoken only by a few speakers..

The painted cave is situated about three miles south the San Marcos Pass. From Santa Barbara you can take the Highway 154 where you will find in a right turn Pained Cave Rd. There is a little further a village with the same name as well.

The cave is on the left, parking is nearly impossible, there is a space for one or two cars max a little further. The area is called Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park.

There are a few steps up to the cave which is protected by an iron gate. The cave is a smooth and irregular sandstone opening with mainly two larger paintings to see from the gate. Colors are red white and black and seem to be from different periods.

The meaning of the paintings are unknown but speculated that they are depicting the Chumash cosmology. They are from the 16th century. It is believed that the cave was visited only seasonally. The cave is known also with the Chumash name Alaxuluxen.

One of the interpretations of the colorful paintings is that they represent tomols taking the souls to Shimilaqsha, the after world. But it could be as well represent celestial things like moon, sun and stars position. Though it could depicting a total sun eclipse that occurred in that period.

As the nature is slowly ‘eating’ the soft sandstone there was done a 3 D documentation of the site in order to preserve the beauty in memory and to study it even not being physically there.

Luckily I have a great camera with super delicate lens so I could take bright and clear shots through the gate. And I think the paintings are amazing! A ‘must see’ when in the Santa Barbara area…

Chumash Painted Cave, Santa Barbara, California/USA:

For further information:
Chumash Painted Cave

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Like in a Movie of the Fifties – Ramona Classic Car Show

My days in San Diego are so full of excitement and diversity, so different to my European life, that it was no surprise that my friend had another great afternoon planned for me. We would go in a little town in the San Diego hinterland to see a classic car show. O my….!

The driving to the place called Ramona was already exciting for me as the nature here is so different in one way and so similar to southern Italy in another. I really enjoy to see all these places and of course it seems all the time like in a movie when we pass into towns. They look so much like… on the big screen. And when I hear the sound of the police cars then all is perfectly cinema to me.

The classic car show would be more than just a view of antique cars but a real driving along the road. Friends of his have old classic cars and we would go with them in one Franklin of 1923. Think I have seen such cars only in movies, never in reality. Imagine to sit in.. all original.

We were going up and down the main road of the town, right and left on the road lined with people watching and enjoying the old cars passing. It was so much fun as old and new cars were mixing, especially when seeing Porsche or similar behind a Chevrolet from the fifties or so.

We had a lot of fun going in such a wonderful car. I am so grateful for this wonderful experience and opportunity I had.

We were at least half an hour on the road, going up and down, watching the other cars and being watched a lot as well of course. My impression is, that here in the US are a lot of people having the passion for classic cars and having even a few. Very different to Europe where only rich people may have one or even e few of them. They have always a special atmosphere. I enjoyed this day a lot!

Ramona, California/USA:

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Ramona events and attractions

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