San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California. Picture taken by Ian Wikarski on August 3rd 2011

San Francisco, California, USA July 30 to August 3rd 2011

(continued from Big Sur) It is hard for me to describe San Francisco…  The diversity of people living there is like Montreal, but with even bigger contrasts.  It was interesting to see Sikhs, gays & transvestites, Chinese, hippies, beggars, drug addicts and all the rest of bizarre styles living together.  We stayed 10 blocks West of Union square in a little hotel (Monarch Hotel) that I totally recommend for 60$ a night.

We were really impressed to see the fog swallowing the city at around 7pm every night.  There is so much for in this city!  We saw the Golden Gate Bridge two times: once on a clear day (we took a cruise) and once on a foggy morning. We also saw the famous Alcatraz prison during our boat tour.

On one day, we walked from Union Square to China town up to Lombart St and down to Fisherman’s Warf before coming back through Russian Hill to our hotel.  For about 11 hours, we walked at least 12 km through the city. What a cool, but exhausting day.

On another day, we walked to Market St and up to Golden State Park, before going back to Union Square in the evening.  A second full day visiting the city.  In the Golden Gate Park, we visited the Japanese Tea Garden, which was a little bit disappointing I must say.  I’ve seen better Chineese/Japanese gardens with more bonsais and better fountains in Montreal & New York.

On our last day, we left San Francisco by taking the Golden Gate Bridge which was covered by fog at 11am.  There is a stop immediately before the bridge and you can stop and walk on the bridge.  The breeze was cold, but the few of SF beautiful. (continue reading to Sonoma & Napa Valley)