12 - 14 March 2007, Part Five
It was a scenic journey along the freeway to San Francisco by Greyhound from Los Angeles, with chain of mountains, huge cherry or sakura trees and the green fields that stretched as far as the eyes could see. It was almost too perfect for a breathtaking bus journey.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. San Jose`s public toilet.
The bus stopped at San Jose Greyhound bus terminal for half an hour break. After relieved my weak bladder, not to be the loser, i quickly walked and left my footprints around. Downtown San Jose is good for its pedestrian friendly scale, that area is also the headquarters of Adobe, Ebay, BEA and the city`s landmark, Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.
San Jose Museum of Art. San Jose Building and Loan Association.
Finally i was able to stand in the middle of Downtown San Francisco after approximately eight hours journey on the coach. As usual, i immediately looked for the B&B hostel followed the direction i noted down from its website. San Francisco was so charming in the evening and the light up at night made her even more stunning. I knew that i had fallen in love in this city. FuFu loved San Francisco.
The main street in Downtown San Francisco.
Downtown San Francisco in the late evening.
The icon of San Francisco, manually operated cable car on the Powell street.
Ferry building's prominent clock tower.
Ferry building, the centrepiece of Port of San Francisco is the terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay and a shopping centre located on Embarcadero. Part of the surrounding has been restored and redeveloped to support recreation and tourism. I once thought of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge, next to the building, was the renowned Golden Gate Bridge until i carefully read its location on the map before i went to bed.
View in front of Ferry Building.
The Pier, Port of San Francisco.
San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge.
A cable car on the Powell and Market turnable (railroad).
Union Square, the principal shopping and hotel district.
Pier 39, Fisherman`s Wharf.
Pier 39 is one very, very, very popular place in San Francisco`s Fisherman`s Wharf. Hard to resist it`s lure, thousand of tourists woke up early flock there. It offers restaurants, souvenir shopping, some pier basic attractions and the one real thing is lots of sea lions. I mean the best thing about Pier 39 is the hundreds of sea lions that sun themselves outside the edge of the mall. Each of us has different DNA so does the mind. To me, it was quite disgusting to see hundreds of sea lions soaked up the sun. Couples of them would be nice enough though. Anyhow if you visit the wharf, dont miss out the sea lions.
"Hey guys, thousand of lame visitors are coming".
"Oh yeah, move faster! They are almost here. It`s our show time."
"Wanna have the brownish tan like us? Soak up the sun everyday in Pier 39. Come and join us together now."
Yachts docked at the wharf.
Skyline of Fisherman`s Wharf`s neighbourhoods.
A long cargo ship is surpassing Alcatraz.
Fog blocks the view of Golden Gate Bridge.
Skyline of Downtown San Francisco .
Skyline of the city and the Palace of Fine Arts (golden dome).
FuFu was in San Francisco, 13/03/07. I ❤ SF.
Golden Gate Bridge defines San Francisco, the gateway where the bay meets the Pacific ocean. As far as a future Civil Engineer knows, this Golden Gate Bridge has established the boundary to riches for people throughout history as well as a sister bridge of Seto Ohashi in Japan. For a relaxing trip to the famous bridge, try to walk along the beach, Crisspy Field. It is about one hour walk and along the beach there is a new tide pool area created to preserve birds. I loved to take the walk not only the view of the waterfront and Golden Gate Bridge are great but also the beautiful grassy field with butterflies, birds, joggers, roller bladers and so on. Highly recommended. Make it part of your vacation and you wont b disappointed.
Fog envelops the Golden Gate Bridge and approaches Crisspy Field.
Another view of Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point.
Once i got under the Golden Gate Bridge i thought of walking across the bridge. It took me a little more time than the bicycle but was an experience i would never forget. It was pretty windily and chilly to walk across, but fortunately i had a good jacket.
South pillar seen from walkway.
To walk out on the Golden Gate Bride was one of the most enjoyed things I have ever done. Looking out over the water you can see little tiny Alcatraz Island and the ships passing through the Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge was absolutely beautiful, I just couldnt stop looking from any angle and noticed that i had about hundred photos of it when i back to Japan. I have never edited black and white pictures but the trip in San Francisco was the exception, my first time. The effect turned out nice anyway. Guess i would do more black and white now onwards.
I guessed someone must have chosen Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide or a corpse must be left under the vista point of the bridge. The corpse was put inside the black vinyl plastics. The policemen were busy searching for the belongings of the victim. This was the happening on 13 March 2007. If you are super free, you could check out what actually happened on that day. Well, after that i turned and walked back to the starting point and headed for Palace of Fine Arts.
Police car and motorcycle, ambulance, fire engine came.
Palace of Fine Arts.
The Palace of Fine Arts is another prime tourist attractions. It looks like something straight out of Rome rather than the quaint streets of San Francisco. Another attraction inside the building of the Palace is the Exploratorium which houses various science exhibits, including many hands on experiments. It`s pretty comfortable to be there as the grounds are beautiful with grass lawns and a pond with birds and ducks.
The remains of Palace of Fine Arts.
Also known as Nihonmachi (日本町), Japantown is home to a large number of Japanese restaurants, supermarkets, shopping mall, banks and hotel. Its focal point, Japan Centre is the site of a Kinokuniya bookstore, five tiered concrete stupa designed Peace Pagoda. This town only comprises few blocks, still Chinatown rocks and rules.
The bookstore, Kinokuniya. The five-tiered Peace Pagoda made of concrete.
The Cliff house, perhaps best of all, it is a place located right on the beach, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean where waves crash against boulders and sea lions frolic in the freezing water on the rocks. It is also a historic building which is adjoined by the historic site of the giant Camera Obscura as well as the Seal Rock offshore the beach.
Observation deck. The Seal Rock.
Palace of the Legion of Honour.
Palace of the Legion of Honour was not in my list though. Just while waiting the bus going to Chinatown, i walked around. And i liked the atmosphere of the park. Wish i could i picnic and do my reading while enjoying the greenery and fresh air there.
Cable car traverses the street in Chinatown.
Sacramento Street, Chinatown.
The dragon gate on Grant Avenue at Bush Street.
Restaurants. Chinese social clubs.
San Francisco`s Chinatown is one of the largest and oldest chinatowns in the states. There is actually quite a bit to see if you have time to wander the street. And you will also want to stray off the main roads to see the alleys throughout the Chinatown. A few that are particularly interesting which is lined with various Chinese associations and social clubs, authemtic Chinese food markets, and banners and lanterns usually are draped across the streets. Because of its location and unique architectural buildings, Chinatown draws as many visitors as the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hotels. Chinese shops.
The entrance and the back of St. Peter and Paul Church.
Washington Square is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It is a large and grassy park in the centre of the neighbourhood in Chinatown. Next to the park sits a beautiful and historic St. Peter and Paul Church. There, i walked down to Columbus street and went straight to my last target, Transamerica Pyramid, a pyramid-shaped building is the tallest and most identifiable skyscraper in San Francisco.
It was really a quick blast in San Francisco. I am not a greedy boy but this two nights one day trip in San Francisco was certainly not enough. I still have not soak up the sun at Baker beach, not seen the crookedest street, not visited Alcatraz Island, not seriously explored Financial District and the downtown, not been to Napa Valley for the vineyard and wine tasting, etc, etc. Hey folks, dont be surprised if i suddenly pop up there! Bettter get well prepared.
Oakland International Airport. Southwest Airlines provides good in-flight snacks (both quality and quantity).
ATA from Chicago Midway to New York Laguardia.
Chinatown, New York.
I took subway back to my cousin`s apartment from Laguardia. Dinner with her friends was over but they left me a hearty set dinner. Her little daughter missed me so much and i played with her until she slept. Then chatted with my cousin and her friends while watching them playing mahjong. My cousin and her friends sent me off at the subway. There i took the train bound to Penn Station, then Aerotrain to Newark International Airport and arrived Tokyo 14 hours later.
The last meal in New York City.
Anyhow, i had heaps of fun and adventures during my 18 days graduation trip from New York City to San Francisco. I will never forget the moments i had had in the United States with my cousin and her daughter and friends, Ziggy, Sze Wan, Ziggy`s parents, Wen, Theresa and the people who i had met. I will be back. Prepare to take me around again. I am so looking forwards to seeing you guys sooner.