Or rather San Fran Cisco as the immortal song celebrates the city.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear San Fransico? The counter culture, the 60s, the golden gate, the misfits, the tech startups, the mist, the relentless activism? San Fransico is a city with shades of grey, and not just fifty but millions, yes millions!
The week passed in a blur and decided to shed my philosophical layer and get into a more relaxed mode. I took the same train but this time all the way back to San Francisco city. I rode the bus which took me all the way to the Golden gate bridge.
As soon as I woke up, I slid the glass door which opened in my backyard. It was a particularly cold Sunday morning, with a promise of downpour. The day stood in stark contrast to the previous day and I regretted not taking advantage of the bright Sun.
I set off with a brisk walk toward the Cal train station, Google Maps told me twenty minutes but despite the fact that I ran the last mile I missed the train. The calculations are meant for an athlete or what? It didn’t help that Caltrain service on Sundays is the least frequent. The train station bore a deserted look as I stood waiting for the next train to arrive. I bought a day pass from the machine which refused to give me back the quarter, instead a coupon saying – here’s a $0.25 credit for you.
Day pass is a good bet and it costs ($19.75) exactly the same as the return fare from zone 4 to zone 1 (SF city). Unfortunately, the pass is not valid on the local transport in San Francisco and you again have to buy a day pass from MUNI.
The first thing I encountered as soon as I got out of the station was Walgreens, just like 711 in Thailand it’s everywhere. You can buy a clipper card there, which is valid across different transport agencies in the bay area, but of-course even an empty card costs ($3).
SF is such an expensive city, the day pass costs almost three times ($20) of what it costs in LA ($7). Without wasting further time I jumped on the bus bound to the golden gate. The bus negotiated the traffic of China town and the Finance district masterfully, and finally I was treated to the views of the majestic…
The Golden Gate Bridge
And then started my series of *embarrassing* selfies, with every possible angle of the bridge combined with every facial expression I could come up with. Mind you I am still at the beginner phase, though I do my own version of Zoolander.
A giant metallic monster, a piece of art painted International Orange (yeah, that’s a color go figure!). Check here.
A walk on the bridge and a few quick selfies later I was ready to move on. Since the Sun was out I decided not to take the bus but to walk back to the bus station at the base. The trail takes you through a beautiful park (not the Golden gate park) and the rest of the distance is a walk along the beach. The beach was packed with families, with their pet dogs swimming in the water. Damn, these creatures don’t feel the cold or what? Any PETA activists around?
The golden gate park is located bit further on the South of the bridge, this is where the (in)famous hippy hill is. The Hippy hill and the nearby locality of Haight-Ashbury was what once the utopia of the counter culture. The place is still 420 friendly but those days of carefree-ness are forever gone.
I continued to walk till Fisherman’s Wharf, with a short detour to the crooked street. As cheesy as crooked street sounds as an attraction, it does seem fun to drive and to even see people driving down the zig-zag road.
At one end of the street that runs through Fisherman’s Wharf is the legendary In-N-out burger (eat one moment throw out another?), as usual it too had no vegetarian option. I leisurely walked through the street lined with tourists’ shops until I reached Pier 39. It was dark by then, and not to mention windy and damn cold.
Pier 39 is much like a carnival, street performers, glitzy restaurants, one souvenir shops after another, kids running around, and teens making out in darker corners. I walked right up to the end where a woman was performing on stage, just entertaining the people who were kind enough to give her an audience.
Walked further down and you could see the other bridge, the much ignored twin of golden gate. The Bay bridge which lights up brilliantly in the night. Walk even further and you will reach the edge, it was chilling to the bones with the cool ocean breeze blowing on my face. I wondered if I had it in me to just jump in the water in that freezing cold!
What can I say, I wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous that evening 😉 But I did have something bigger, something more daring in mind… Shark diving in Hawaai! and hold on a minute… let’s take it up a notch, how about swimming with shark with no cage! Now, that’s a worthy adventure to look forward to!
I was trembling in the cold as I realized my jacket was certainly not enough. I suggest you familiarize yourself how the locals in San Francisco dress, both practically as well as stylishly!
With my frozen fingers I swiped the screen of my phone to see that it was already around half past 7 and I knew I had to hurry back if I didn’t want to freeze. Luckily for me, I was just in time for the bus to the Cal train station to catch the 9 O’clock train.
I sat on the upper deck and look out to the speeding scenery, as I hummed to Scott McKenzie…
… Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair.