I love arriving at the airport, because in my opinion that’s when my vacation starts. Being surrounded by different nationalities arriving and departing, carrying suitcases just makes me happy. To me being in an airport feels like you’re in another world or dimension. Never before had I been so eager to board a plane like the one to San Francisco! I had been counting down the days for months, made preparations, did research, bought the necessities like a decent camera and enough memory cards for over 10 000 pictures and more than 5 hours of video. (better to have too much than too little!) After 14,5 hours of flying I stepped on Californian ground and the adventure began!
Since we arrived in the evening, our exploration of the city by the bay started the next morning. We left our hotel in Japantown and kept walking until we found a breakfast spot named Peet’s Coffee & Tea. We sat there to eat bagels, cake, croissants,… and then proceeded. We were able to get snacks for on-the-go at Trader Joe’s and a few minutes later we arrived at the first monument of San Francisco; Grace Cathedral. Across this beautiful church you can find Huntington Park where people do Tai Chi exercises. We proceeded our walk to Chinatown, which is one of the most famous and biggest Chinatowns in the world and a very colorful neighbourhood!
I love views from on top of a hill or a high building, so you can get an idea of a place’s greatness. So we moved on to climb Telegraph Hill, where the Coit Tower is located. It took us some time to find the stairs, but people are nice enough to help you. Climbing the wooden stairs will lead you walking in between tropical gardens that belong to the owners of the houses that are build on this hill. We even saw a Kolibri bird!
After enjoying the sun on top of the hill and a fantastic view on San Francisco, we climbed back down following the Barbary Coast Trail signs on the ground, leading us to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf where you can see the sea lions! We had “Dungeness Crab Bisque Bread Bowl” for lunch at Lou’s Fish Shack, which I never ate before, but it was delicious!
After lunch time to get more active! We rented a bike at Bike & Roll and cycled to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was windy but very liberating! On our way we stopped at a park where the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre is situated which has a very beautiful pond! It was such a stunning place and probably one of the most beautiful spots to have a picnic in San Francisco!
After cycling we had this satisfied feeling you can have after a beautiful day well spent. But it wasn’t over yet! We walked back in the direction of our hotel, first passing by Lombard Street. This took some serious climbing exercises. After we reached the top of Lombard Street and took in the amazing view of San Francisco, the jetlag started creeping in and we returned back to the hotel, which took us quite a while with all the steep ups & downs. That night we ate at a good sushi restaurant at the square across our hotel, named Aka Tombo.
The next day we left our hotel early to continue our exploration of San Francisco and moved direction Alamo Square, which everyone knows best from the television series “Full House”.
From Alamo Square we headed towards downtown San Francisco passing 16th Street. We did some shopping at the Westfield San Francisco Centre and around Union Square. You can get a nice view of Union Square from the rooftop terrace of Macy’s! After shopping we arrived at Washington Square where we sat for more than an hour, because it was so pleasant in the sun. Everyone came here with the same purpose; to enjoy the nice weather. Then we got hungry and we decided to eat at Bubba Gump. Where I had the fried coconut shrimps mmmmmmm. Funny thing about Bubba Gump; the waitress comes to quiz you about the Forest Gump movie.
I really loved my stay at San Francisco. One day I will definitely come back!