In Our Own Backyard: Mission San Juan Capistrano
So, okay: We knew this was here, but have only driven by. On the freeway. At 80 miles per hour (allegedly). The Mission is (relatively) close to us here in San Diego and I can't believe we hadn't ventured there before. I suppose it's because I'd never bothered to research the place, to see what was there to see. I assumed it was all pueblo-y and old and not cared for and that was it. It really is in our own backyard (or maybe front yard, as it's north of us).
Mission San Juan Capistrano was quite fascinating. We took the train, which dropped us off right in the center of the town, so we only had a limited number of hours before our return trip. Even so, we had plenty of time to explore and take photos. Yes, those famous birds show up there all the time so it must be pretty cool place to visit, yet there was much more history there than I expected, and even some 1812 ruins from a felled church.
I'll be writing and posting more soon. Until then, these photos are of the Priest's Garden, a tranquil area between the old church and the adobe structure to the west of it. These bells, if I read the history correctly, are from the bell tower of the old church. - Kevin
(Bottom two photos: From the interior of the garden, showing the bell well. Within a year of the fall of the Great Stone Church in 1812, the brick campanario, or "bell wall", had been erected between the ruins of the church and the mission's first chapel to support the four bells salvaged from the rubble.)