During a recent business trip to San Francisco, I made a visit of a few days to friends who live near Campbell, CA. I took the Caltrain down to San Jose – an easy and relatively cheap (at around $9 one-way) way to get out of San Fran towards Silicon Valley.
While their kids went to school, my friends and I made a trip to the coast where, among other things, we visited the town of Carmel. No Clint Eastwood sightings – bummer! But we decided to check out the Carmel Mission after having lunch in the charming downtown area. I had been to the Santa Barbara Mission over a year ago so I was curious on how this one would compare.
As luck would have (is it really luck??), this was two days after the canonization of Fr. Junipero Serra who worked, died and is buried at the Carmel Mission. The timing was definitely great; I only wish Pope Francis had canonized him where he is buried!
The Carmel Mission is smaller than the one in Santa Barbara but by no means less charming or interesting. As with probably most missions, the center of the mission is the church with a cemetery next to it. Usually there is a vast space or courtyard in the mission and buildings, many of them much newer used for different functions.
As you enter, you are properly warned that you could be at risk for an earthquake. Only in California would the obvious need to be stated in the form of a warning!
As you can see, it was a clear, beautiful day (I assume this is typical for California) and I am so glad we got to enjoy visiting the mission at such a historical time!