Golden Gate Bridge

All I knew about San Francisco before visiting earlier this year was that it’s hilly, Herbie caused mischief, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, it’s foggy and the fog horns mostly from movies and TV shows.

We wanted to get to Baker Beach which has the best photographic views of the bridge around sunset and got thick January fog instead. That didn’t stop people from still visiting the bridge, running or cycling. It perhaps was the best time to visit to hear infamous fog horns. Horns I recognised immediately thanks to countless movies and TV shows. It was oddly comforting to hear them. There’s even a number you can call up to listen to them! 

Path along top of Baker Beach

Old bunkers at Baker Beach

Please excuse the ISO noise. It was my first time shooting in thick fog.

Continue reading “Golden Gate Bridge”

San Francisco: Pier 39 and Russian Hill

One thing I noticed in Northern California aside from few wearing coats in February was around 19.00 it’s almost like San Francisco streets emptied. In Barcelona the streets are still full of bustle and hustle at 19.00. Even the residential streets walking along from San Francisco’s city centre to Pier 39 were quiet. Pier 39 had a little more energy as did the centre, everything in between left us asking where everybody went.

The buildings walking down to Pier 39 in the more residential streets were amazing. While each building was more of less the same, the facades were the stars, the steps the main stars in the older part of the city. I’d have loved to see them in daylight but maybe I wouldn’t have noticed them with people around. Many town houses are spilt into apartments and there’s no way I’d want a basement apartment no matter how pretty the steps. I need sunlight!

DSCF9743 Who looks up at street sign names? The rest of the world apart from San Fransisco and probably the rest of USA.

Pier 39 turned out to be tourist kiss me quick almost like a village theme park. If you’re left Continue reading “San Francisco: Pier 39 and Russian Hill”

San Francisco Botanical Gardens 

9,000 different plants from all over the world at San Francisco Botanical Gardens take you on a journey across the globe. You can’t just look in one direction ahead! Looking up magnolias, redwoods, looking down camellias, herbs, moss. Each twist and turn of the paths takes you almost if there’s no one around a secret garden on the other side of the world. Or down the road in the California garden!

We had enough of the city, wanting some fresh air when we visited San Francisco earlier this year. The botanical gardens and Japanese Tea Garden were a few places on our list of places to go thinking they’re in the same garden. The Japanese Tea Garden is in the same park, Golden Gate Park but not in the same garden if that makes sense. Golden Gate Park while it looks close to the centre or downtown San Francisco isn’t. For some reason looking at the map of San Fransisco bay area I thought it was like a European town with everything more of less in walking or a metro distance. Err, no! You need a car to get around, unless you want to do multiple buses, taxis or Uber. A car worked out cheaper than Uber. We stayed just outside San Francisco in Belmont, Redwood Shores and I think the garden was a 40 minute drive away. We’d thought we’d have enough time to do both however the botanical gardens were bigger than we’d expected. By the time we’d left (after a who’s right which way back to the entrance! I think we both compromised and worked it out) it was 16.30 winter closing hours.

Bamboo gardenDSCF0072Puffer fish!

We could have easily have spent more time in the gardens. It’s split into Californian indigenous plants within their own geographic location and into South America, Asia Africa and Europe. The Mediterranean Garden features native Californian plants along side plants from South-western Australia, Chile and South Africa all grouped within their own geographical location. The Mild Temperate Climate features plants from Eastern Australia, New Zealand and a Japanese Moon Continue reading “San Francisco Botanical Gardens “

San Francisco: Downtown and Chinatown

Our first day of our California, Oahu holiday vacay was spent in San Francisco! We stayed outside of San Francisco at the Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores residential hotel in Belmont purely for the reason they had a gym and kitchen. We tend to stay if possible self catering as it saves money, allows more time to explore not being tied to finding vegan restaurants, check out supermarkets and we get to have breakfast of our choice. The gym because P knew I’d go crazy if I just did hotel room workouts for 2 weeks. His ears would hurt.

Another reason why we stayed outside was after calculating Uber costs it was cheaper to hire a car which worked in our favour over the next few days. P reserved parking ahead and there was a little culture shock driving to the parking. He picked one of cheaper carparks which was I think in the one of the roughest inner city neighbourhoods. He didn’t know! Neither of us did! $25 all day parking. Others were $35 plus. Lots of homeless people (there are homeless people in Barcelona but not to the extent of San Francisco. This was a whole other level of homelessness) lining the sidewalks, a lot high. I think it was the open drug use and it’s affect that was the eye opener. It was hard not to stare which I knew was the one thing I shouldn’t be doing. While I was curious how they ended up homeless, I got a feeling most were looking out for each other as tents lined the sidewalks. Yes, it made me uncomfortable and at the same time I felt safe. There I said it. The parking turned out to be only a few blocks away from the centre or downtown San Fransisco. Google Maps you know everything!

Driving into San FranciscoDowntown posh part

Okay. I got photosnappy. The chances of visiting San Francisco again are low to never, so I snapped away. It took awhile Continue reading “San Francisco: Downtown and Chinatown”