[For context, read this post.] College campuses have always held a sort of magic for me. During the summers when I was young we’d sometimes ride our bikes at the local university in the evenings and at the time, college as my reality seemed decades away. Big kids go to classes and study in there… how cool, I’d think to myself as I rode past the lecture halls and libraries. Now I’m a “big kid” in college (albeit online) and the whole idea isn’t nearly as mysterious, but I still get a thrill from wandering around campuses.
I’ve only ever set foot on the grounds of a few colleges, but so far Cal tops them all. The location, setting, diversity, architecture, and landscape is fantastic, and the pleasant weather doesn’t hurt anything either :)
The week of my visit, we enjoyed particularly lovely spring weather that lent itself to walking, my sole mode of transportation for 4 days. Did I ever mention how much I adore walking? Not the I-need-to-carve-out-an-hour-to-get-my-quota-of-steps-in-today kind of walking. This is the kind of walking that serves a purpose. This is your own two feet getting you from where you are to where you need to be. And I love it.
That beautiful tower you see there is the Campanile, a Berkeley icon and the world’s third largest bell and clock tower. My friend and I took the tour to the observation platform on my last day… I’ll share a handful of photos from that soon in a separate post.
If you’re looking for a spot to unwind in the evenings, the west-facing side of the Campanile is perfect. Sit down on the ledge in front of the planter (or hop up on either side of the wall if there’s room) and watch as the sun goes down, leaving a golden bay in its wake.
I got in the habit of spending some time there every evening I could, because the picture above holds a little secret. From this spot, on a fogless day, part of the Golden Gate can be seen crystal clear. It was 20x larger in real life, but for some reason would not show up on camera. If you look really closely between the trees, you can find the faintest trace of it. This was such a beautiful and peaceful spot at the end of the day… easily my favorite on campus.