Thursday, August 31, 2017

Traveling: Impressions From Palm Springs, California

(Drivebycuriosity) - My wife and I were traveling in the Southwest of the US again. Our trip included 2 nights in Palm Springs (about 110 miles south-east of Los Angeles) . The Californian city is an oasis in the Sonoran Desert, close to the Mojave Desert, the driest desert in the USA. There is nothing around, just naked sand & rocks.

The place is a natural oven. It seems that the surrounding steep mountains are containing the heat and are aggravating it like a burning glass. So in the peak of the summer the mercury column climbs often above 110 F (50 C). Palm Springs is only possible thanks to air conditioning and other refrigerators.

We arrived off-season. The tourist seasons goes from September to June. The extreme temperatures in July & August keep most visitors away. but we got relatively chilly weather with about 98 F (36 C). Anyway, the heat was enough to keep us most time in the shade. But even that it is hot there, the very low humidity and some breeze make staying there pleasant & healthy.

The city planers & developers made use of the emptiness and they spread Palm Springs generously all over the valley. The straight & empty streets seem to touch the horizon. For someone who lives in densely populated Manhattan this generosity is kind of refreshing, baking oven or not. The city developers & residents are also fond of palms - as apparently most of the Californians. We really could see where the city got her name.

                                                           Hiking In The Oven

The surrounding rugged mountains offer a lot of hiking trails. Climbing them should be much fun in early spring & late fall, but we gave up hiking after about 2 hours because we couldn´t stand the summer heat. 

The city has a wealthy population. I suppose residents need a lot of money for electricity (refrigeration) & water.  It seems that many affluent Californians use this place as a refuge to relax & meditate. For the same reason there are many upmarket hotels & resorts. Wealth & taste is reflected in Palm Springs`s architecture. I spotted lots of splendid mansions there. But I didn`t notice any construction place. Maybe Palm Springs`s boom is in the past (lack of water?)?.

Many shops, restaurants & bar attract customers by spreading cooling water fogs at the fronts. There are also cozy bars which work well as a shelter against the baking oven temperatures (above a glance into the bar/pub draughtsman).

Some day we might come back.

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