mercredi 12 mars 2014

I left my heart in San Francisco

After admiring the beautiful sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge and after spending the coldest night of my life in Oakland, my motivation was stronger than ever at the start of this second day in San Francisco. And that was lucky 'cause it turned out to be a rather busy day!

As if to stress even more the impression of diversity I had a glimpse of on the previous day, we started strolling about Haight Street, the "anarchic" neighbourhood still known to be one of the most unconventional in the city. Some of the beautiful old houses still have a somewhat psychedelic look about them. There even was something of a Camden Town feel about some places of the neighbourhood (that is, the pre-touristy invasion Camden Town, of course), while other places just gave me the impression of having been teleported to a kind of weird Summer of Love revival!

A walk in the Golden Gate Park provided us with a much quieter environment and allowed us to gather strength before climbing up Nob Hill to find ourselves in another radically different atmosphere. Formerly known as the "posh" neighbourhood of San Francisco, Nob Hill still has an impressively high concentration of fancy hotels and apartments buidlings. But I obviously was much more struck by the steep streets and the incredible views over the city. That was exactly the San Francisco images that had fascinated me so much when I was younger. And there I was: in these streets, admiring this incomparable urban landscape... Breath-taking!

Then down the hill to go to a much more densely populated and animated neighbourhood: Chinatown. The oldest Chinatown in North America, it is almost like a city within the city... The cluttered streets, countless shops and vivid colours kind of make you feel transported to another continent. Then we reached the adjacent neighbourbood, the "Little Italy" of San Francisco, less typical but quite nice and still home to many Italian restaurants.

I realize that a few paragraph-summary gives the feeling that we did all that in a couple of hours but of course, this walk around different neighbourhoods took us all day! And as the sun was setting, we headed towards Coit Tower (towards... and up a hill again!) from where I was, once more, blown away by the views over the city and by the colours and lights. 

So no, I probably did not stay long enough to leave my heart in San Francisco... Or did I?... :-)

Haight Street
Nob Hill
Views from Coit Tower
Along the Embarcadero

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