Hawai`i - Honolulu
`Iolani Palace, commissioned by King David Kalakaua, on (where else?) S. King St. It flies no U.S. flag, just the Hawaiian flag that has watched over the State, Territory, Republic, and Kingdom of Hawai`i. On the gates are the coat of arms belonging to that Kingdom and adapted into the state seal. The Hawaiian phrase means, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
The first King Kamehameha statue to be erected in Hawai`i, and also a statue of Kamehameha I, giving two reasons to include the little "1" beneath the name. However, this wasn't the first statue commissioned by the state - see the Big Island page for that story.
The Hawai`i State Capitol, purporting to be Bauhaus or evoking Hawaiian symbolism but looking like a concrete accident of the 1960's. In front hangs the state seal, dating to the completion of the building and looking like it hasn't been cleaned in that time. Across Beretania Street is an eternal flame for Hawaiian members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Around the inside of Diamond Head, an ancient crater that has become a microcosm replica of Hawai`i (even with token palm tree). It's linked to the outside world by a very artificially finished tunnel (how well can you spray something on and expect it to look like natural rock?), and inside is a booth to pay if you want to walk around. Or you can do what we did, U-turn and take a few quick panoramic photos.
The tunnel was built to be as short as possible, taking advantage of the shape of the crater. Diamond Head Road forms a circle around the outside and this little road climbs a short hill to get here. Koko Head is visible in the eastern distance, another former crater just east of the edge of Honolulu, which has taken over many villages and towns in its growth. That growth has taken over the bottoms of valleys and the tops of mountain ridges, leaving only the slopes untouched in the most diverse and worldly city in Hawai`i.
Walking west on Waikiki Beach.
Sunset begins from Ala Moana Blvd. (HI Route 92) and ends from a 15th-floor hotel room in Waikiki, looking west on the heart of the city.
More O`ahu photos
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