Last time we spoke I was on the BART train from SFO to downtown SF continuing my solo journey.I know it’s been while since then (Life keeps me busy), but I hope you will join me for rest of the journey.
As you may know, SF is famous for it’s foggy, cool weather and steep hills. I think this is what makes SF especially romantic. But the September days I visited this beautiful city were blessed with unusual sunny weather. Even though the weather was cool as usual, the foggy weather was surprisingly absent… As my train was moving closer to downtown, the city’s famous hills became visible along the railroad tracks. The view of the houses on steep hills was especially beautiful.
I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, which is only a short distance from the train station(Powell Street). This hotel is surrounded by beautiful views. The famous Ferry building is just few steps away … From the hotel room (Hyatt Regency) I had the most amazing view of the SF Bay Bridge. During the night, the sight of the Bay Bridge and reflections of street lights on the water becomes quite spectacular. My first night at the hotel, I kept staring out of the window just lost in the scenery. It kind of reminded me of Paris at night, but the hills of SF streets were quick to remind me back that I was indeed in SF.
Hyatt Regency is in the financial district of SF..This is a good central location as you can catch cable cars or trams to all the attractions such as Fisherman’s wharf, Lombard Street and Chinatown from Financial District.
As Ferry building was only steps away from my hotel, I loved spending my mornings in Ferry plaza grabbing my morning espresso and Belgian waffles from the Blue Bottle Coffee Cafe. The plaza is filled with number of restaurants and espresso bars. Grabbing dinner from one of the restaurants in Ferry plaza might just get you a table with the beautiful view of the Bay Bridge. Something about dinner with candle lights, flowers and amazing view of the Bay Bridge just creates an overwhelmingly romantic atmosphere. Saturday mornings are perfect to stroll around the neighbourhood of the Ferry building as there’s usually a Farmer’s market…
SF is one of the smallest cities I have visited, you can travel almost anywhere in SF downtown by the trams and cable cars. Riding trams all over the city was one of the exciting parts of visiting SF. It was as enjoyable as riding a roller-coaster. Tram conductors are quite friendly; they love getting to know the tourists who travel to SF from all over the world.
Chinatown is the perfect place to be in SF around lunch time. Most of my lunch hours on this trip were spent over Dim Sum in places such as Great Eastern, Yank Sing, and Delicious Dim Sum. The very thought of having lightly breaded Dim Sum filled with juicy deliciousness makes me want to catch the next flight back to SF…this very minute .
Most visitors to SF seem to catch the tram ride to Fisherman’s wharf to spend their evenings, but for me it was too touristy. My mission was to get to the heart of the city and embrace all its richness in the rawest form. So, I spent my afternoons, walking the hills of Lombard Street (the crookedest street in US) with my afternoon espresso. The view of San Francisco Bay and the houses on the Russian Hill from the top of the Lombard Street at sunset just creates beautiful scenery. I tried to capture this magnificent view with my camera lens, but I can tell you that my lenses were no match for such live beauty.
I told you in my previous post, the Golden Gate Beauty is what initially attracted me to SF. I visited this beauty on the second day of my trip. You can catch the 30-Stockton bus from Union Square and transfer to the 28-19 Ave bus to get to Golden Gate bridge (if you forget, you can just ask any bus driver how to get to Golden Gate Bridge, like I did).
The view of the Golden Gate Bridge is simply breath taking. It is one of the most impressive man-made structures; I have come know in my life. The stunning view of the 70 –year- old golden beauty mixed with blue, sunny skies overwhelmed me with pure joy. It is one of the most memorable experiences in my life; I often revisit this memory whenever I can as it always makes me smile.
When it was time for me to leave SF, I was simply consumed with overwhelming sadness. Yes, I was nervous to take on my first solo adventure and had imagined to feel isolated and lonely. But instead I got to know this beautiful romantic city in its rawest essence. To my surprise, except for a couple of moments, I hardly felt alone. I was always surrounded by the friendliest people, who always volunteered to snap pictures for me and went out of their way to get to know me. After all, how can you feel alone in such a beautiful, friendly city!!!.
SF is not the only thing I got to know on this solo trip… It was a rare opportunity for me to learn about myself as well. I never thought I will enjoy experiencing an unknown city while travelling solo. But I did. And this experience will be sure to remind me that anything in life is possible as I travel through different stopovers in my life……….
So, would you plan a solo trip this year? If you do plan, where would you go?(I would love to hear about it). Wherever you choose to travel, I wish you will have the same wonderful journey I had… and I hope it will be a pleasant memory that will linger in your memory for years to come, as it did for me……..