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City of dreams: San Francisco

I will tell you what feels like heaven to me right now: a clean bed with immaculate white sheets, a shower that works and a real, functioning toilet, and afterwards discovering what a great city of dreams San Francisco is! You only realise how much you enjoy the ‘normal’ things you’ve gotten used to when you couldn’t use them for a while. Staying in a hotel in San Francisco is heaven after the past week of camping and very little showering.After the 56 euro breakfast from yesterday we decided to not repeat that again and so Annemiek ate some leftovers while I skipped breakfast all along.

City of dreams

As San Francisco is built on 40 hills (and not seven -that’s Rome) Annemiek could have a bit of hard time here and so we get yet again into car. With a full (and me empty) stomach we drive to one of the most iconic little streets of town: the twisty and graded Lombard street. It’s that street that is curved like a snake, you know which one it is.

Impossible to take a picture of and not the most exciting place to drive, it is nice to have been here and to have checked it off the list. Next up was a closer look at the bridge of the city of dreams, the Golden Gate, which we only saw a little bit of two days ago from our table at Alioto’s.

city of dreams hotel chalk board

A chalk board in the hotel, really nice idea. I promise I didn’t write down number seven.

city of dreams San Francisco Lombard Street curve

 Beautiful beautiful beautiful! One of the houses on Lombard street.

City of dreams San Francisco Lombard street overview

The view of the city from said Lombard street.

It’s a bridge

I park the car and we get out to stroll along the beach here with a view of the bridge. The closer we get, the sillier I think it is. It’s just a bridge. How can a bridge become so famous and iconic? I mean, it’s a nice bridge, all red and all, but that’s all that it is: a bridge people use to go from one side to the other. In the middle of my philosophic pondering Annemiek interrupts me with the message that she wants to touch the water of the Pacific Ocean. Alright, I say, and I drag her with her chair over the strip of sand and onto the bit of sand the water reaches (what’s that called in English?). 

Remember that time Annemiek was dancing with this young, handsome man (not me)? Well, sitting at the shoreline with the water of the Pacific touching her feet she had the same big smile of pure happiness on her face as when she was dancing with that bearded bloke two weeks ago. Funny how it’s always the small things that get to you. 

In the meantime I’m thinking of big things. Big, greasy things to stuff in my mouth and call it breakfast, because right now I’m so hungry I could eat a horse. Since the ‘Beach Hut Cafe’ doesn’t serve any horse sandwiches I settle for one with turkey and an organic (and therefore not working) energy drink. Yummy. Jesper = happy again.

City of dreams San Francisco quote John Muir walk

I love everything about this quote. I feel every word, and it reminds me a lot of the walks I take with my lady.

City of dreams San Francisco Golden gate bridge beach bay

The view

City of dreams San Francisco golden gate bridge wheelchair

 You know I love videos. But sometimes, when you catch just the right shot at the right time, a photo can express so much more. This one is a great example.

Captain of the ship

Two years ago we boated around Manhattan Island, which Annemiek liked so much she wanted to boat again, only this time around the San Francisco bay. And so before we knew it we found ourselves on the bow of the boat (when is something a boat, and when do you call it a ship? I’m sure there is some kind of cutoff point) with a headset on, listening to all the things the lady inside the headset was telling us. One of the things she said was that the bridge was very big (no shit) and that it’s being painted every day of the year. Every day of the year, there’s a dude (or possibly more, he’s probably not alone) going up there with a brush and a can of red paint and painting it red. As soon as he reaches the end of the bridge, he goes back. Talk of an exciting job, painting a big red bridge at a 75 meter altitude.

The boat/ship (I really should have googled this by now) turns around under the bridge and makes its way to Alcatraz, the prison island. It’s nice to see it after having heard so many stories about it and seeing it on tv a couple of times. It doesn’t look like a happy place, and it wasn’t, according to the lady in the headset. It is now a museum after having served as a prison for almost 30 years. Does not look like a fun place to be. What IS actually quite funny is that, the lady tells me, Alcatraz is Spanish for Albatros. Who knew?! Well I didn’t. You’re welcome.

Docking again in the harbour I’ve -yes, again- started to get a little hungry. Annemiek’s hungry too and so we get a clam chowder at the wharf and sit down on a bench next to where a black guy with a drum kit entertains the crowd. Some elderly women do a quickstep. “We don’t get paid here, we get tips,” the man says through the microphone in between Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and Uptown funk. Nicely put, mate, I think, as Annemiek puts a couple of bucks in his tip bucket.

City of dreams San Francisco pier 39

View of the pier. Go here if you can, it is a very nice city. In fact, it’s one of my favourite cities I’ve come across in the US. Hence the title of the article, city of dreams. :’)

City of dreams golden gate bridge from the water

Big red bridge.

City of dreams Golden gate bridge selfie man

Me being somewhat very happy with a big red bridge.

city of dreams San Francisco Alcatraz from the water with view of San Francisco

I love this shot. It’s Alcatraz and the view on the city from it. Must have been gut wrenching to be locked up and almost be able to smell the life of the city.. Then again, the people that were on here did do some very bad things so they probably deserved it.

City of dreams San Francisco dancing homeless people pier 39

SF is a happy city. Sunny, green, and even the homeless dance on the streets.

City of dreams San Francisco beer

Thirsty? Indian pale ale at your service!

Graciegrace

A quick stroll around pier 39 and a beer in said pier later I bring Annemiek to the hotel and go to meet Grace, the shortest and feistiest American you’ll see. Okay maybe not the shortest ever in the world, but believe me when I say she is really very short. She’s also very kind and warmhearted and full of life. 

It’s real nice to see her again after four years and even though we didn’t spend that much time together in Groningen, seeing her here and now is like seeing an old friend, and we spend the entire evening talking about everything and nothing while the sun slowly makes its way down towards the water of the Pacific. We have a spectacular view on the beach and it isn’t until the sun has gone down completely that we notice it has cooled off a lot. 

The last full day in San Francisco (and America, for that matter) has been a wonderful one, with great weather, great views and some very mediocre clam chowder (alright I had been spoiled by the best clam chowder in the world). Tomorrow it is already time to fly back. It is crazy how these past four weeks literally have flew past, we have seen so much, met so many people, and tried such delicious food. 

Hopefully the 13.5 hour flight flies past just as quickly.. 

City of dreams San Francisco war ship gate

A WWII war ship turned into a museum shot through a gate of the harbour. Will google what the gate is all about.

City of dreams San Francisco couple man woman

Me and Graciegrace! Worth noting about this picture is that I am sitting on my knees in the sand and the lady of the matter is standing on some stairs. I told you she is very short. – Okay, maybe I’m not sitting down, but still.

City of dreams San Francisco view harbour amazing sunset

What a view. I mean: what a view. I’m not gonna say anything about this one. Wow. If this is not a city of dreams.. then I don’t know.

This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):

READ NEXT: LET ME TAKE YOU TO THE SEA

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This is Travel Viking
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This is Travel Viking

Captain of the Ship at This is Travel Viking
Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.
This is Travel Viking
Stalk me

Latest posts by This is Travel Viking (see all)

This is Travel Viking

Writer. Traveller. Bearded man child. Better-looking than Donald Trump. Skinnier than Steven Seagal. Probably the best writer on this website.

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