We had a wonderful time on our Mexican tour. We drove to hotel circle in San Diego for the bus to pick us up at the Kings Inn Hotel. They provided free parking and had a lot of space available. Our first stop was the Rosarito Beach Hotel. After seeing this hotel, I can see why all the kids flock there for spring break. It was incredibly beautiful with a huge pool and a gorgeous sandy beach that goes on for miles.
Our next stop was for pictures of Fox Studio, this is where the Titanic movie was filmed. I am adding pictures taken from a distance though the window, please excuse the blurs etc. A lot of the pictures had to be taken while moving. The huge crane in the picture was used to move all the cameras around while filming. They also had tours available, but that was not part of our tour.
Our next stop was about 70 miles down the coast. We got to see a lot of the Baja Coast, it was incredibly beautiful. There are quite a few camping areas along the way that were right on the beach. Our driver told us the campgrounds that charge all have security and are safe. After seeing the area, we would both love to camp there, it was awesome.
Out next stop was along the Pacific for ocean views and a few fruit markets etc. We saw a ton of dried fruit for sale all along the roads. The pictures I added with the rings in the water are where they farm the Bluefin Tuna and ship to Japan, where it sells for $100 a pound. They were all along the area.
We had one more stop before reaching Ensenada to view the Pirates of the Caribbean studios. You can see another huge crane where they move the cameras around for filming. I can see why they chose the area, the coast is spectacular here.
When we arrived in Ensenada we were taken to the Casamar Restaurant for lunch. Our lunch was included in the price of $72 each for the tour. They served us several courses starting with chips and salsa, a salad, a choice of entrees, bread and butter and dessert with your choice of beverage. Jerry had the Garlic Sea Bass and I had the Sea Bass in Red Sauce. Both were superb!! After lunch we had two hours to shop or do whatever you wish. The prices were fantastic, especially for jewelry and Jerry got a great deal on a hat. We found the city of Ensenada to be very clean and the people were very friendly. We enjoyed our visit much and would definitely return.
Our last stop was for another hour tour and shopping in Tijuana. Tijuana is the largest city of the Mexican state of Baja California, situated on the U.S.-Mexico border. We enjoyed another hour of shopping in Tijuana and then headed for the border crossing back into the U.S. Going into Mexico was a breeze, they didn't ask to see passports or anything. Going back into the U.S. is another story.
They had 24 lanes of cars entering back into the U.S. and all the lanes were packed. It was the same for the people walking across the border, the lines were endless. We were very lucky to be in the bus lane. We still had to get out of the bus and take everything we purchased with us and go through customs. They check everything, but it only took us a short time because we only had 12 passengers on the bus. They even got on the bus and checked it out after we left to walk through customs.
All of this took only about 30 minutes, if you had nothing illegal. We saw a lot of dogs smelling drugs with quite a few cars that got searched for hours. Our driver said that over 70,000 people cross that border daily. It was quite an amazing thing to watch.
Our tour started at 8:30 A.M and we arrived home around 7:00 P.M. It was a full day and we were tired when we got home, but it was worth every penny. We highly recommend Gray Line Tours, they went the extra mile and it was a fantastic and safe way to see this outstanding part of Mexico. More later from San Diego.