Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vacation Part 3: Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley and a tour through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park...

Time for PART 3 of our vacation! Be ready to be amazed by the beauty of both the Napa Valley and also the Redwoods in San Jose's Henry Cowell Redwood State Park! First, let's stop in Napa Valley to explore the incredible Castello di Amorosa: Click here to check out their site: http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/ 

We decided to explore Napa Valley on our way back to San Jose to spend our last days of our holiday with the Gillies... We had seen an advertisement of the 'Tuscan Castle' in a travel guide and we were so thankful to be able to go and see it!
Now for your tour: It felt like a real Tuscan castle! All the stones were imported from Europe in order to build it and it had a very 'ancient' vibe to it! When we arrived, two limo's were driving up the windy driveway ahead of us and I wondered if we had the right place! Eek! But it had a lovely down-to-earth atmosphere and they had a lovely muscadel grape juice for us to sample at the end of our tour! We could even pay less to tour since I was pregnant! :)

**Please note that you can enlarge any photos on this blog by clicking on them and then return to the blog by hitting return or going back one page...**

This wine press was imported from Tuscany and is in very good condition which is rare considering its age:
A little church in the castle:
More of the castle:
 The courtyard:
This was a huge dining hall: 
More of the castle... details on the walls and from the terrace:
If you pay more, (than what we did!) to tour the castle, you get to go on tours of the cellars and also get a tour guide to show and tell you all about the castle. Despite this, Izak found this in a secret locked off tunnel: (An impressive picture through a bolted gate... if you ask me!)
 To do the wine-tasting or the grape-juice tasting (in our case- it was the best grape juice ever! Mmmm... It tasted so expensive! And truth be told... it was, but since we were sampling it didn't matter!) you go down to this cellar:
And... in conclusion for our castle tour... some lazy, big and FAT sheep on our way out:
Me in my first maternity blouse: :) (I got it at a sample sale and didn't realise that it was a maternity top at the time... but it has come in handy!)
And final departure pics of the Castle and vineyards:
Now... for the time in the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park... We went with Mary Gillies and two of her granddaughters. 
Come along!
Here is a sign from on the way:
 And Izak drove Mary's faithful little car:
So beautiful... and it is just the entrance! Check out the site for more info on the Park: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=546
Here you can see a redwood marked with the different times that it lived through:
Some of the redwoods:
Mary Gillies and the girls:
Izak up in a tree!
And in a tree:
Some last ones:(You can see how little the Gillies girls look compared to the tree in the last pic!)
THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading such a long post! We hope that you got a glimpse of the beauty and how much we enjoyed our time away!

Lots of love,
The Bakkes THREE!