California through a windshield (4: San Francisco and Napa)
San Francisco is a great walking city. I loved strolling around downtown SF as opposed to LA or San Diego. It seemed to me as if the city had more character. Maybe it’s because I’m from India, but a little less cleanliness seems a little better. There’s something about that little scrap of paper flying about that makes walking on the road that much more mysterious and exciting somehow.
Walking down Market Street was great, and we walked for a good two hours. Although I admit a lot of that was because one of us really needed to buy a jacket and so we stopped at every other store. Ugh. Jacket shopping, not the most interesting thing to do. But when after two hours you end up at Haight Street, its completely worth it. The pictures speak for themselves. Its just a great road to walk down, and drink too. I saw a few really unorthodox pubs which were just beckoning me to go in.
Golden State Park, Hippie Hill inside it, Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge, we saw all that, and it was great, but truly the best part of San Francisco was just exploring it on my own terms. Everyone knows about the tourist destinations, but how a city really appeals to you at the end of the day depends on what it reveals behind those destinations. How you feel, what you see, the people, hospitality, colours, and everything else.
Words of advice:
1) You must visit Napa Valley, buy wine, bread and cheese, take your car out to the middle of nowhere, and have a little picnic. Now I’m not the biggest fan of wine, but I could tell how much it was being enjoyed!
2) Watch out for a man who tries to scare you by hiding behind a plant and then appearing out of nowhere when you pass him on the sidewalk at Fisherman’s Wharf.
3) People watching at Hippie Hill is amazing. Just sit down there, and you will be entertained.
Photo credits: Rodolfo, Chansun, and well.. Me