Experience Monterey!

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Monterey is famous for so many things. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and the sardine fishery, John Steinbeck, the Monterey Jazz Festival. And now the resurgence of Monterey Bay itself bringing back whales, dolphins, seal lions, seals, otters, and all sorts of birds and fish.

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Iconic Monterey sardine boat based on the traditional Felucca of the eastern Mediterranean

Like many famous places many attractions sprout up which are only peripherally related to the sources of fame. The old Fisherman’s Wharf is now the center of attention. I began looking for canned sardines.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Entrance to the old Fisherman's Wharf

Entrance to the old Fisherman’s Wharf

What we find on Fisherman's Wharf - a reflection of its history, according to the interpretive signage

What we find on Fisherman’s Wharf – a reflection of its history, according to the interpretive signage

Waiting to serve dinner...

Waiting to serve dinner…

Looking back along Fisherman's Wharf from the top of the restaurant at the end

Looking back along Fisherman’s Wharf from the top of the restaurant at the end

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The harbor from the roof top of the same restaurant

 

Of all things, Monterey Bay is now well known for restoration and conservation, exemplified by the Aquarium, but also by the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, and of course “Western Biological” from the novel “Cannery Row.” So I was saddened to find sea stars and shells for sale as souvenirs in the shops on Fisherman’s Wharf. I had seen similar ‘sea life’ for sale in arts and crafts stores in Portland. These are not picked up off the beach, already expired, but are taken alive from reefs in the south Pacific and ‘processed’ for the markets.

Dead 'sea life' in the tourist stores on Fisherman's Wharf, mostly echinodermata (spiny skinned)

Dead ‘sea life’ in the tourist stores on Fisherman’s Wharf, mostly echinodermata (spiny skinned)

More dead 'sea life', mostly mollusca. . .

More dead ‘sea life’, mostly mollusca. . .

Cutsey dead mollusks (the shelled animals) for sale

Cutesy dead mollusks (the shelled animals) for sale

A basket full....

A basket full….

 

It’s easy to remember happy trips to the shore, beach combing for shells, sand dollars, and whatever treasures may have washed up. Unfortunately, commercially available sea stars and shells are not picked up that way, but harvested for a mass market.

There are great scenes and some interesting perspectives outside Fisherman’s Wharf. Use of the harbor today is blending with the old wharf.

Fisherman's Wharf from the west side. Most restuarant do offer table views this way

Fisherman’s Wharf from the west side. Most restaurants do offer table views this way

The end of Wharf 2, still with working fisheries, and the opening of the harbor with lots of boats on moorings

The end of Wharf 2, still with working fisheries, and the opening of the harbor to the northeast with lots of boats on moorings. We buy fresh fish here for dinners on Velic.

Monterey Harbor Color

Monterey Harbor color

More "color" in Monterey Harbor. I don't know what the rectangular platform is for

More “color” in Monterey Harbor. I don’t know what the rectangular platform is for

A lower view of Fisherman's Wharf

A view of ‘lower’ Fisherman’s Wharf

Cannery Row

We walked Cannery Row several times. Monterey Bay Aquarium is on the western end, and the Point Pinos walk also took us through Cannery Row. The structures crossing over the street are original, built by the canneries to move sardines, often on conveyor belts, from the waterfront to the processing plants and warehouses. Interestingly, we found more sardine cans in Museum of Monterey than anywhere on Cannery Row.

Cannery Row as Steinbeck did not imagine

Cannery Row as Steinbeck did not imagine

Fresh Fudge and Billards didn't make it into the short story

Fresh Fudge and Billiards didn’t make it into the short story

Cannery Row today

Cannery Row today…

A Mediterranean feel on Cannery Row

There are interesting contrasts, remnants of the heydays of the fishery.

Cannery Row...not quite restored

Cannery Row…not quite restored

Cannery Row: feels more like Steinbeck here

Cannery Row: feels more like Steinbeck here

Cannery Row still provides a "Flophouse" for some

Cannery Row still provides a “Flophouse” for some

Cannery Row, another few steps along towards Monterey where the Cormorants rule

Cannery Row, eastern end looking towards Monterey Harbor

Arts & Crafts and Farmers’ Markets

We found lively farmers’ markets combined with ‘arts and crafts’ fairs on the plaza and main street. A whole block of the farmers’ market is devoted to local organic foods, mostly produce. The weekly market, Tuesday afternoons, clearly attracts both local residents and tourists.

Hint: Click on the first image to start a ‘slide show’. Exit the slide show by clicking on the X in the upper left.

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2 thoughts on “Experience Monterey!

  1. Great pictures. I love the glass pumpkins. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. Staying there long enough to really see different aspects of Monterey.

    Like

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