Saturday, April 27, 2013

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City of Golden Gate - San Francisco



One Wednesday lazy afternoon in the mighty lecture halls of Anderson, was one of our exchange mates from UK planning to attend a conference in the Bay Area!! She offered to share her ride in exchange of good company on way and eager to explore a new city in this continent, I and Laxman readily agreed. This led to planning for an extended weekend (October 29th – 31st 2010) trip to the seat of Silicon Valley, the land of the Golden Gate Bridge - the beautiful city of the Bay Area – San Francisco.

With the decision began preparations, and first thing was to identify a local youth hostel to be our habitat for the 3 days. The plan was to leave LA on Thursday after the classes and spend the Friday and Saturday in the city and return on Sunday. The journey began as planned and we left by 6 PM for a 5 hour drive to SFO. After a great drive on interstate 5, along with a small break on-way we were checking in our dorm room in the youth hostel.

As per our plan, the first day was to be a day long visit to one of the premier wine producing region of the world – the Napa Valley. We left early in the morning (well say 11ish) and reached the St. Helena, by lunch time. First stop was at the Robert Mondavi Winery, credited for one of the first large scale operations in the area, for a quick tour. We went through the usual short wine tasting tour around the winery. Yeah, I understand, you all are thinking of what I was doing on a wine tasting tour. Well I did not taste but was definitely enjoying the information pouring in and the excitement of seeing the seat of wine production. We also went through the sales counter at the winery and then moved for a quick lunch. Post-lunch was another of similar, but much more extended, wine tasting tour at Beringer Vineyards, one of the original ones from nineteenth century. We were all very tired at the end of the one and half hour tour and we started on the journey back and were in bed after a quick dinner at the Cheesecake factory!!

Next day Sarah was to be away in her conference and me & Laxman had the city tour on cards. We started with a light breakfast at the hostel and left for the long day long city sightseeing. We started with a visit to the China-Town (though almost every American city has one, this is the oldest in whole of North America) and roamed around the area and moved to Coit Tower. We straight went towards the elevators to reach the top of the over 60 m high tower. There is no way I can do justice to the beautiful view from the top in words. You can see the entire city from there – the beach, the sky scrapers, the spread of the city and distant Golden Gate Bridge in the background. After a short photo session we came down the tower and headed towards the next spot – Pier 39, which has a number of small spots spread around it. Some of the points we covered around there were the aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf. Near the wharf, we visited USS Pampanito – A US navy submarine. Next we decided to walk through the city along the beach. After a long walk, we took a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge – no visit to SFO can be complete without this in the itinerary. We then went for another long walk on the bridge itself – a really long one but the cool breeze and the excitement ensured that it did not feel tiring. By the end of that walk was time for lunch and we took shelter in a local restaurant. Post that we moved towards other points – mainly gardens including the Golden Gate Park. We took a shuttle to the botanical garden and a few more conserved fauna treasures.  We ended the day with a trail on a forest track leading to picturesque surroundings along a lake. After spending some time there, both of us returned to our hostel.



Next was a lazy morning which took its time to start and we finally were checking out of the hostel. Before leaving SF, we still had one point to cover – The Lombard Street, the most crooked road of the world. We walked across the city to have a final glimpse of this quiet serene city. We happened to notice our good old Taj on the way. Lombard Street was indeed a set of curves put together end to end and hence was easily a zigzagged pathway connecting two mainstream ways at-least two floors apart in terms of their elevation. What was interesting was that the way was used very frequently by locals and cars plied back to back.


This was the end of our trip to this Bay Area town and we were off to LA to end our weekend back in our temporary abodes!!!

2 comments:

  1. Hi..i just happened to arrive at this blog. Nice article buddy. Though you can make it a bit more exciting by minor changes in your writing style. :)

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  2. Thanks Neha :)
    Do pour in if you have any specific inputs !!

    ReplyDelete