Today I'm taking you to the small seaside town of Bodega Bay. At the Northern end of the town, right off famous Highway 1, you can find the Children's Bell Tower. I had always wanted to visit the bell tower, but in our more than 20 years of living in Sonoma County we have never stopped here, even though we passed it many many times.
But Sunday before last we finally went there. It was my birthday and I could decide how to spend the day. I wanted to walk the Coastal Prairie Trail which starts right next to the bell tower.
The bell tower is visible from Highway 1 (if you know where to look), but there are no signs. You have to know where it is. There is a small dirt parking lot right next to the community garden from where you walk to the bell tower.
I'm sure that most of you have heard of Nicholas Green who was shot by highway robbers in 1994 and whose parents decided to donate his organs to seven Italians. The Green Family was from Bodega Bay and the Children's Bell Tower was built in memory of Nicholas and all the children.
The tower has more than 140 bells that were donated by families, schools, churches, and individuals all over Italy. The monument is the work of San Francisco sculptor Bruce Hasson.
No two bells look exactly the same. There are big ones and small ones, plain ones and those with beautiful decoration.
The central bell has been donated by the Marinelli Foundry, that has been making bells for the Papacy for more than 1000 years. This bell was blessed by Pope John Paul II.
A view from below
All those bells are so beautiful. It is a very moving monument.
After we had visited the bell tower we walked along the Coastal Prairie Trail and finally down to the beach. It was a wild surf, just one day after we had a tsunami warning because of the underwater volcano eruption near Tonga. But this will be the story for a later post.
In the evening we got some sushi and had a bottle of our favorite bubbly - which is my ticket for Eizabeth's T post.