In Xanadu..... well not quite...... if you are a tourist on a tight schedule and you gave this a miss then you would not be missing something great. If you did manage to visit this attraction then you would be satisfied that you saw how some of the rich spend their money....
the interiors of the big house itself i personally did not like too much - especially if you have seen the likes of Versailles or some of the palaces of the Indian Maharajahs. at the same time, the cottages with their gardens and the neptune & roman swimming pools were to put it simply - beautiful. no other word would define them better.
at the same time, the collection of greek vases in the library is simply astounding. if one has a soft spot for history then you could spend just an hour or two in this single room looking at the collection and wondering about all the people and the momentous years these vases would have lived through. as of now, you can spend only about 2 min with them - that is the time that is allowed to the regular tour groups. the other beautiful collection was that of the carpets / rugs. no tour guide would talk about them but you would see some of the most beautiful central asian and persian rugs laid out on the ground for you.
the tours cost $25 each. each tour lasts for about an hour - all 3 or 4 are doable in the same day - at least 2 should be done as otherwise it does not make sense going to this out of the place nook in the hill.
the views are astounding. it is just off highway 1 and just a little bit down the road you can get to see the sea lion colonies.
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