San Diego, a city in Southern California near the border with Mexico, is a city of 1.4 million people – and is a world center for military and defence industries, biotech and more recently, healthcare.
But in a lot of ways, it is its co-location with Tijuana across the border that has fuelled San Diego’s growth.
It’s known as the birthplace of California – because the first European settlement was established here in 1769 after the area was claimed for Spain.
Then it became part of an independent Mexico in the early 1800s – and was swallowed up by the new state of California after the US-Mexico war in 1850.
Of course, all of this rather ignores the original Kumeyaay people (and their antecedents, the La Jolla people) – but as they say, the victors get to write the history.
Later in the week we’ll look at some of the things San Diego is noted for – its military tradition, its links to aviation, and a world-renowned zoo – but to start us off, a view of San Diego’s CBD – as seen from Coronado.
Coronado’s interesting – it’s an affluent suburb of San Diego, across the bay from the CBD, and in many ways it owes its existence to tourism.
The famed Hotel Coronado was built as a resort in the 1880s, and it MAY be the inspiration for the City of Oz .. author L Frank Baum actually designed the resort’s chandeliers.
But Coronado’s also home to two massive naval bases.
It’s well worth taking a hop-on hop-off bus in San Diego – it will take you across the Coronado bridge, and tell you lots about the island (which is actually a ‘tied island’ – and island connected to the mainland by a spit of sand called a tombola.)
And when you are there, look back toward the city of San Diego – it is a magic view, especially on a fine, sunny, California day.