I’ve wanted to visit San Francisco for ages. So, on my first night here, after being installed in my hotel room on the 23rd floor (with a lovely view of the bay), I wanted to do some exploring. A little while later, I found myself heading for China town, taking in the atmosphere. I just feel at home in big cities.
For dinner, I found a cosy, v. colorful vietnamese place filled with all kinds of tacky pictures and lampions and most importantly Vietnamese customers. Food was good, not entirely identifiable, but good. Decided to continue on heading for the ocean, found coit tower instead and took the climb up. Wow, steep. Yes, you see the hills on television and yes, they look nice, but until you are actually there you just don’t have a proper appreciation of the actual angles. Absolutely worth it, though – fantastic views of the oakland bay bridge and a first glimpse of the famous golden gate through the equally famous fog.
Next morning I headed out early to Chrissy field (east beach) to catch the sunrise at the golden gate bridge. Jet lag working in my favor for once. The place is just amazing. The ocean, the bridge, the beach, the birds, sea lions bobbing out of the water… just amazing. As it gets lighter, you see lots of people walking their dogs. Very friendly. I even said hello to their owners 🙂
After two hours taking pictures and one hour talking to a nice random guy, I continued on in the direction of fisherman’s wharf and pier 39. This city is so pretty it’s almost surreal. Took a few pictures of Alcatraz on the way. Not many sea lions at pier 39 but excellent crab and a mojito that packed a punch. Rather touristy area though.
After getting some well-earned rest, I headed back to the golden gate in the afternoon, this time hiking down to marshall‘s beach. The area is a bit less accessible than Chrissy field and closer to the tourist point of the bridge itself, so there are fewer locals and more tourists around. However, the views of the bridge are beautiful, so it is worth going there.
The next morning, I woke up to see … fog. The visibility was down to about 20m, so I might as well have been in a completely different city. I decided to take the opportunity and photograph the red bridge in the fog. After getting some more crab, I took a cab to the golden gate park to check out the Japanese tea garden. The garden is beautiful and tranquil but, contrary to the golden gate park as a whole, not exactly big. It is also packed with tourists. Still, there’s something special about its atmosphere. It has definitely pushed visiting Japan further up the list.
I absolutely loved visiting San Francisco. favorite place so far in the us. also absolutely enjoy traveling alone. it’s complete freedom and you get to meet so many different people. it’s interesting to hear about how they live and what they are about.
people are very friendly and open.
Going on to Mexico:
I know, Mexico again. Whatever happened to visiting as many different countries as possible? All I can say is it won’t be my last time in Mexico 🙂
I had a bit of trouble with the customs agency in Cabo because of the housing. They actively look for people with diving gear to see whether they have camera equipment with them to then charge around 15% of its buying value in taxes. The odd thing is that they actually have guidelines that clearly state that equipment for your camera is free. But apparently not the housing. Although they couldn’t show me a single piece of documentation to back up their claim. Also had documentation from Nautilus for this very case, which they completely ignored because it was not issued by their agency. It is super annoying to have to pay taxes for something that is only meant for personal use and I’m not convinced that they even have clear guidelines on this but there’s really not much you can do about it.
Had two days of diving in Cabo. Not bad. Got to see sea lions (I learned that in contrast to seals, sea lions have earflaps). Especially the first dive on the second day was awesome. I was alone with them in shallow water (surge pushing me and to a much lesser extent the sea lions back and forth) and there were 6-8 of them playing all around me 😍😍😍.
They were completely relaxed around me, playing with each other, rubbing themselves on the sand, inspecting me and the camera and coming really close 😍. absolutely one of my favorite dives so far 😍🤩😁. Second dive of the second day got to see a school of cownose rays. first time I have seen them, they look really weird 😅.
… continued here.