San Francisco USA Northern California
I had wanted to go to San Francisco USA for a while. Multiple friends had told me how great it was. America has been on the list of places to visit also.
Arriving at around dusk and coming of the BART (direct train into the city). When I came out of the subway station and into the city for the first time I was blown away and you will be too if you have not been to the US before.
It was like a scene from Grand Theft Auto. The sheer scale of the place was awe-inspiring, music pumping from people’s cars. People begging all around me, lots of people around you know the scene. I can only imagine what New York City must be like, I mean San Fran is not known for being especially large.
I flew alone and met others who were already here. My bag was lost and was still in London when I arrived. I heard my name called out over the tannoy, after speaking to the guy at the desk he told me the bad news. It took a further 28 hours to reach me, great start right!? We went for a wander and within minutes came across a pizza joint – a slice of pizza it was. I mean it might technically be ‘a’ slice but it was more like 4!
San Francisco has lots to see and do in and around the area. Whilst walking around the following day we found this high point in the city, yes that is the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
It just happened to be Pride weekend so the place was very busy indeed. Around the main street thousands of people enjoying themselves in various states of intoxication and dress for that matter. Carnival-style floats paraded down the street, even an SFFD fire truck! Golden Gate was to be saved for the next day though as it’s about a 4-mile walk from the city.
This is as close as we got to Alcatraz the abandoned prison that once held the infamous Al Capone. You MUST book in advance. Like weeks before It is supposed to be very interesting so DO NOT make the same mistake we did, https://www.alcatrazcruises.com/ was the company we tried to use and was the one that was recommended by locals! Annoyingly we just left it too late so make sure you don’t! I have known several friends go and all of them really enjoyed it.
Above is AT& T Park home of The San Francisco Giants. Yet again as we came across the stadium a game had already just finished! Who else likes to not book anything and just see where the wind will take you? Although we did book for upcoming LA Dodgers. With the crowds all leaving the stadium a few strangers got talking with us, they picked up our obvious British accents. One of them offered us Acid – He was just playing around trying to impress us though. They had not even been to the game either just happened to be in the area.
Haight-Ashbury is perhaps the main reason I wanted to go to San Francisco USA always a bit intrigued with Hippie Culture I wanted to see the birthplace so to speak. Largely a tourist trap of shops selling Buddha statue and trinkets, you know the type of things these places sell.
The first-ever head shop, Ron and Jay Thelin’s Psychedelic Shop, opened on Haight Street on January 3, 1966, offering hippies a spot to purchase marijuana and LSD, which was essential to hippie life in Haight-Ashbury. Along with businesses like the coffee shop The Blue Unicorn, the Psychedelic Shop quickly became one of the unofficial community centers for the growing numbers of freaks, heads, and hippies migrating to the neighborhood in 1966-67. The entire hippie community had easy access to drugs, which was perceived as a community unifier.
A snippet from Wikipedia above.
I did not see much in the way of any stereotypical hippies, as expected it’s now mostly tourists! It’s a cool area though and worth a visit. Plenty of bars and cafes around to hang out.
Yosemite Valley including El Capitan and Muir Woods was also visited while here but I will save those for future posts.