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Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 | 4 comments

A story of buildings, statues and parrots in San Diego

Take a look at the following photos and tell me what you see.

Casa de Balboa


Detail of Casa de Balboa


Casa del Prado Theater


Where are those buildings located?  At a city in France? Cold, cold.  At a town in Spain?  Well, you are getting there.

These beautiful, European-style buildings are located at the Balboa Park in sunny San Diego, California.  They have a good resemblance to the Old World architecture because their facades were created following the Churrigueresque style.  Churri what?  I know, I know.  Not an easy word but I find it kind of charming and had to include it in this post. Churriqueresque refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the entrance on the main facade of a building (definition from Wikipedia). The style takes its name from the architect and sculptor Jose Benito de Churriguera.   Many of the buildings standing at the Balboa Park contain ornamentations in this style.

Spreckels Organ Pavilion


Ok, after illustrating the architecture style of the buildings, let’s talk about Balboa Park.  Some time ago, I posted about my visit to San Diego.  I told you about the discoveries I made at Old Town San Diego and how I toured a supposedly haunted hotel.  That same day, I visited for the first time, what some consider the best example of urban cultural expression in the United States, Balboa Park.

The Botanical Garden


I have to admit that the visit was short.  However, I felt like a kid in a toy store.  Why? Because we are talking about a space comprising 1,200 acres (more than 12 times the size of Disneyland).  There are more than 50 museums, gardens and attractions.  Additionally, there are venues for art performances and recreation.  And let me not forget to mention that the World Famous San Diego Museum is within the park’s limits.  As you can see, there are tons and tons of things to see, explore and do.  I want to go
back badly to explore more.

Here are more photos of some interesting museums found in the area.

Natural History Museum


Museum of Art


Museum of Man


Air and Space Museum


I guess I am most interested in visiting the Museum of Man.

The wonderful thing about this park is that you don’t really have to spend money in entrance or parking fees to have a good time.  There are areas to sit, rest and people watch.  Let me mention that some attractions are free (find information at the visitors center).  Plus, there are performers everywhere entertaining the public.  It is the perfect recipe to have a good time.  It would be a good decision to add the park to your list of cheap bargain holidays!!!

Fountain at Balboa Park


Well, maybe you can spend a little bit of money to buy something colorful and yummy (or maybe I can go with you and you buy me something yummy :0).  I guess it is up to you.

Rainbow Snow Cone


It is interesting to take a look at the many park statues.  My favorite ones were the mosaic ones.

Mosaic Statue


Kids playing at Balboa Park


I cannot write about my visit to the park without narrating an interesting event that happened that day.  A group of people were collecting funds for an organization dedicated to provide care to abandoned parrots and exotic birds.  One of the organization members was holding a blue macaw.  A guy asked her permission to touch the bird.  She told him to go ahead.  He proceeded to touch the macaw at the back.  The girl holding the bird told him not to touch its back but its front.  He did and everything was cool.  Then, the guy’s girlfriend approached and touched the parrot in the back (she didn’t follow instructions).  The parrot screamed super loud and the girl screamed louder.  She ran out of the scene.  The bad part is that the macaw remained really pissed off.  It was scary to hear her making weird noises (like breathing really loud).  The holder tried to talk to the macaw but at
the end had to ask for help.  I was amazed at how these animals have such a strong reaction to things they dislike.  Very, very interesting.

Blue Parrot


At least, there were some nicer birds around.

Colorful Parrot


Pink Parrot


Have you visited Balboa Park?  Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. I spent two years in San Diego while working on my masters degree and couldn’t wait to move on afterwards. But…. now I really miss it. San Diego is so beautiful and unique, and Balboa Park is like a little slice of gorgeous pie.
    Technosyncratic Travel Blog recently posted..Mdina, Malta’s Ancient “Silent City”My Profile

  2. i forget how beautiful Balboa Park is! it’s been forever since I’ve last been!
    jenjenk recently posted..Eating in CuracaoMy Profile

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