Eureka, the biggest city north of San Francisco, on the American west coast.
|Victorian house, Eureka|
The city that is in the heart of the redwood region, the place surrounded by the enormous straight stems, the trees that seem to reach up to the sky and beyond. The amazing redwoods that in some areas are so big, that you can hide not just a person or two in them, but you can actually drive through them with a car.
The first time I came to Eureka was 2001. Now it is 2012 and I am back. I can't believe that it's already been so long...
This time I arrive, just like last time, with someone who means a lot to me, someone who is a good friend, although this time it is a different friend. But his time I have a better idea about Eureka and I know some of the things I want to see already - plus I have a lot more experience from travelling, and I have a lot more to compare the city to as well.
Eureka is indeed a nice little city and the historical district with all the beautiful buildings, I am so glad I returned here. But I should have stayed longer, there is an interesting little art scene - and again, the architecture, the architecture is amasing. I did feel a little bit uneasy entering some of the old buildings where it was clearly posted that in case of an earthquake, the buildng would not be secure.
California is a land of many earth quakes.
Nor did I feel 100% happy with the signs talking about potential tsunami and me entering tsunami danger zone. Still, just in case of an earthquake, but ever since the fatal tsunami in South East Asia, the word tsunami makes me feel bit uncomfortable...
But other than that - Eureka was fascinating. And so were the people I met! Both the lovely locals, from the people that sold coffee and divine chocolate biscuits, the people I chatted to in the supermarked, to the other guests and random people out walking, to the people just passing through.
Down by the pier I ended up talking to four guys, guys taht had an interesting story, or rather stories to gell. Guys that had spend the last few years on the road, one for five years, and the other three for about half that time. People that in a way live my dream of always being on the road - but at the same time not. I would not be able to stand all that time without having something to go to, something to do, some purpose, be it a course, teaching, volounteering, or something else. But I still want to hear their story!
And I loved exchanging ideas with the four guys, four guys that could have scared some people off, simply because how they were dressed and the first impression, but guys that I truly enjoyed talking to. If fascinates me hearing stories about having slept in the wild, staying away from wild animals, having to wake up in the middle of the night holding down a plastic sheet to stop the wind and he waves from coming in and soaking everything, it is an adventure in itself. It is inspiring!
In the hotel, at breakfast, I met another interesting character, the woman who shared my breakfast table and who told me about her long trips, across the country, with trains and as a hitch hiker, and occasionally by plane. Why? Much of the time because she was following a band around. Fascinating. And so good for me to have these discussions, I need to see that it doesn't always have to be about following a certain path, about having everything secured, but much more about doing what feels right for you! So what if that is following a band around, or so what if that means sleeping under the stars. If that is what you want to do and you have the means to do so, why not do it?
Yes, there were encounters in the little hippie town of Eureka that really planted a seed...