First time in San Francisco? Ask me what San Francisco is like and I would say its like a kaleidoscope of buildings coated in old-world charm and sky scrapers facaded in glass. A busy yet welcoming city. The roads are a happy riot of swanky vehicles and vintage street cars. Sandwiched between the Pacific ocean and SF Bay, this city made up of over 40 hills, is good mix of the West and the Orient and the sights and sounds of the global village.
It might be a cosmopolitan city like any other, but there’s something about San Francisco that sets it apart. It balances its antiquity and its corporate evolution very well and also preserves the cultures of many other parts of the world it has rubbed shoulders with, giving visitors so much to see and do.
San Francisco is home to the gigantic Golden Gate Bridge and the crookedest street. It harbours countless sailboats and ships. It showcases art and architecture of all kinds. This city that lured people from the rest of the world during the California Gold Rush, still proudly wears its history with the Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. It has umpteen stories to tell.
No matter how many times I visit San Francisco, I know there will always be a lot to see and a whole lot more to experience. The week before last, we did a five-hour city tour and took home several lessons, several thousand mental images and hundreds of digital photographs. Our tour began with a cruise from the Ferry building to Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. After a lunch in pretty Sausalito, we were on the road catching sight of some of San Francisco’s landmarks.
It started off with the one and only Golden Gate Bridge. After that, we went on to see traces of the city’s Spanish history, some Roman architecture at the Palace of Fine arts, Japanese Tea Garden and the little Sculpture Garden at De Young Museum. We made a stop at the picturesque Seven Sisters (some Victorian homes) and the elegant Grace Cathedral. We also walked beside the zigzaging Lombard Street and did a walking tour of colourful Chinatown.
It was a long day but I haven’t had my fill as yet. This must have been my proper First time in San Francisco. But it just will not be my last time in the city. To San Francisco I will go again.