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November 2, 2012 / Linda Hartong

Carmel Walks- A Walking Tour That Brings Carmel To Life!

I love Carmel Walks- walking tours. When we move to Carmel, I sign up to tour with Gale Wrausmann- the founder of the tour. 

We meet in the courtyard of the Pine Inn, introduce ourselves and start out with Gale and her dog, Squirt. As we walk, she makes stops and shares stories. 

I am so delighted with my experience that I sign up 3 more times to treat guests to the experience. Each time I take the tour it is different. Gale trys to tailor the tour to each group’s interests. One time we focus on fairy tale cottages. On one walk, everyone has a dog ,so she leads us through dog friendly shops, dining and lodging. Great fun!

This last March, I try to schedule a tour for my daughter and myself and am unable to reach her. Gale died March 18, of cancer. She is only 65. By now all of Carmel knows and loves her and mourns her passing.

This last trip , I learn that Gael Gallager has purchased CARMEL WALKS and resumed this tour.

I sign up and ask if I may blog about my experience and photograph as we go. We again gather in the courtyard of the Pine Inn where a plaque honors Gale Wrausmann.

The “new” Gael agrees and the other tour members agree to allow it as long as “you don’t photograph me eating or from my backside”. I agree and off we go with this petite dynamo who is a goldmine of Carmel lore.  She has been a professional tour director for the past 28 years and it shows. 

Our first brief stop is in the garden of Harrison Memorial Library where Geal paints a vivid picture of how Ocean Ave. looked in times past. 

Our second stop is the beautiful gallery of Richard McDonald. World  renowned, Carmel enjoys a first look at each new show. In the past I see Sculpture inspired by The Cirque de Soleil and The Royal Ballet. Today we see his Magical Energies show. As with all the others it is a lovesong to the beauty of the human body in movement.

We move across the street to the  bronze sculpture of a devoted elderly couple entitled “The Valentine”by sculpture George Wayne Lundeen.

When we first move to Carmel, a Japanese couple come to clean this sculpture every day. 

We continue up the street to the First Murphy House- built by M.J.Murphy in 1902, it now houses the Carmel Heritage Society. About

Gael points out the Milk Shrine. In Carmel’s early days, these shrines were around town. Residents would leave their empty bottles and orders here for the milkman and return to pick up their milk.

As we continue, Gael notes that this area was a paradise for the Indians who are the first inhabitants. Mild climate, fishing, river water, rich soil, and a variety of herbs and plants that have culinary and medicinal uses.  Rosemary flavors food, is used in cleaning products, burnt as incense and used to improve memory.

Next we make our way to the Happy Landing Inn with its many charming details.  HAPPY LANDING INN – BUILT WITH THE ” HANSEL AND GRETEL …

Gael takes advantage of walls, steps and other perches to make herself seen and heard.

We stroll past the Tally Ho Inn

and then onto Ocean Ave. past The Cottage of Sweets CARMEL’S COTTAGE OF SWEETS « Once upon a time..Tales from …

And into the Court of the Golden Bough  Carmel’s first courtyard -the court of the golden bough

Next stop City Hall where Gael shows us her “Permit To Wear High Heels”. Yet another quirky custom that endears Carmel to me.

 We pass L’Augerge Carmel  L’AUBERGE CARMEL « Once upon a time..Tales from Carmel by …

And continue to The Church of the Wayfarer  Home | Church of the Wayfarer, Carmel, CA ,

step inside to admire the stained glass windows.

A pianist is filling the sactuary with beautiful music. Stepping  quickly by THE MASTERS GARDEN AT THE CHURCH OF THE WAYFARER

We walk through Doris Day’s Cypress Inn Cypress Inn


And The Courtyard El Paseo el paseo- one of Carmel’s courtyards and secret passageways

By now some grumbling is starting in the hungry tour group. One man announces that he will only give Gael ten more minutes before he departs for a chair, cold beer and lunch.

But all is forgiven when we enter the Steven Whyte Sculpture Studio Gallery. Where we are treated to the sight of the artist in residence. As he works he graciously answers questions.

The grumbling begins again as we briskly stride through Casanova and past the desert trays and happy diners sipping wine and eating pasta. 

CASANOVA Restaurant :: Carmel’s Most Romantic Restaurant

Gael is not really through with us- there is always more to share. But she is called away to give her afternoon tour of Point Lobos and has to leave us in Defendorf Park.

She gives us our “money’s worth” and then some.

The others head out for lunch and I head home for lunch with Bill. 

I can not recommend this tour too highly.


Leave a Comment
  1. / Nov 2 2012 1:42 am

    Absolutely wonderful write-up, Linda!  I’m one of Gael’s tour guides……..continuing once my bloomin foot fully heals.  Gael, as you know is the best of the best!!!!

    best to you,


  2. Janet / Nov 3 2012 2:20 am

    Awesome blog ~ my small-house architecture OCD kicked into overdrive when I discovered it, and I can’t get enough of sweet little Carmel as seen through your beautiful photos and writing. Thank you so much! PS: Please consider adding a Search function…. this is so full of good information that I often am referring back to older posts. :o)

  3. tammy j / Nov 4 2012 5:01 pm

    as always. pure delight from you and your camera and the enchanting carmel by the sea.
    when i get there now i’ll know to be sure to take one of ‘gael’s’ tours!
    notice i said when and not if.
    it is a promise i’ve made to my old self. i don’t care if i have to be wheeled around.
    i will see this beloved fairy tale place one day! until then i visit through you dear heart.
    thank you.

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