The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Day 1 in San Francisco

I am excited to begin writing about our travel experience of our short stay in San Francisco, which was part of our summer trip to the United States in August. Three days in this city was long enough for me to fall in love with it, and I will definitely come back for a revisit! We arrived from San Diego in the early afternoon, and our first objective after dropping off our luggage was to find a supermarket to buy some necessities. We stayed in a hotel near Union Square, and we spent most of that first day wandering the streets on foot to the various nearby sights. The weather was a contrast to the sunny blue-skied SoCal we'd arrived from, but we were prepared for the cool weather because I'd done my research prior to leaving for the States.

The San Francisco Cable Car, one of the city's main tourist attractions, though we knew not when we first saw this. This is the world's last manually operated cable car system that forms part of the "Muni" (and not to be confused with aerial cable cars):

Proof of a working curved escalator, inside Westfield Shopping Centre. It comprises of more than 6000 components!

A flowing chocolate fountain, inside Bristol Farms, an upmarket supermarket inside the Westfield:

A Ghirardelli Chocolate shop inside the Westfield, where we learned that the chocolate company was founded right there in San Francisco in the 18th century. We cycled past the historic Ghirardelli Square the next day on our way to the Golden Gate Bridge, but more on that later:

One of the four Hearts at one corner of Union Square, depicting the Golden Gate Bridge. There is a Heart for each corner, which are auctioned off every year to benefit the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, and new painted heart sculptures are installed in their place:

Another Heart at another corner of Union Square:

A Gateway Arch (Dragon Gate) on Grant Avenue and Bush Street leading into Chinatown. The Dragon Gate is the only authentic Chinatown Gate in North America, and this Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia (and also the oldest in North America). We explored Chinatown in greater depth on day 3 - more on that later. For now, check out the steepness of the street's incline! Many parts of San Fran's streets are very hilly, which can be a pain or a breeze while on the bicycle:

Walking the streets of downtown San Francisco back to our hotel:

Stay tuned for more!

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