United States
Little Italy

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205 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Landung und 1. Tag in San Francisco

    May 16, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    Ankommen:
    Nach dem 4h Zug fahren und 12 Stunden fliegen, bin ich gestern in San Francisco angekommen. Da man leider nicht wie in der EU eine einfache Grenze hat, bei der nicht jeder noch Formulare ausfüllen und von einem Officer befragt werden muss, dauerte das ganze über 2 Stunden. Grund für das lange Warten war, dass nur 5 Officer ungefähr 500 Leute befragen mussten, dabei hat der Officer mich nur sehr kurz befragt, wie lange und wo ich hingehe.
    Dann ging es mit dem sogenannten BART Zug in die Stadt zum Hostel in Mitten der Stadt (Downtown). Auf dem Weg dorthin ist gleich auffällig gewesen, das es auch recht viele Obdachlose in San Francisco gibt und die Hip-Hop Kultur gang und gebe ist. Im Zug waren ein paar junge Männer (20-30), die den bei uns nicht mehr so stark vorhandenen Modetrend von Jogginghosen, die extrem herunterhängen, trugen.
    Das Hostel ist ordentlich und die internationalen Mitbewohner sind freundlich.

    Tag 1:
    Erstaunlicherweise, war ich heute schon recht früh wach gewesen (trotz 24h Hinreise), dies lag wohl an der 9 Stunden Zeitverschiebung, bei der ich 9 Stunden geschenkt bekommen habe. Also wenn es bei mir um 8:00 ist, ist es in Deutschland 17:00.
    Beim Frühstück gab es hauptsächlich das übliche europäische Essen, da die meisten Reisenden auch international sind und nicht nur aus den USA.

    Nachdem ich mir eine Sim Karte bei AT&T gekauft habe, bei denen es eine riesige Game of Thrones Ausstellung mit Flaggen, Thron und Waffen gab, bin ich zum Union Square gelaufen.
    Anschließend ging es durch Chinatown zum Cable Car Museeum, weil es angefangen hat ziemlich stark zu regnen.
    Asiaten leben ziemlich viele in San Francisco.
    Der Regen hat etwas nachgelassen und ich bin zur Lombard Street gelaufen, der kurvigsten Straße San Francisco. Beim Laufen zu dieser Straße werden die Hügel bemerkbar, auf die die Stadt gebaut wurde.
    Man konnte von der Straße schon die Bay sehen, also bin ich runter zu Fishermans Wharft gelaufen, außerdem hat nun auch die Sonne wieder angefangen zu scheinen, zumindest für eine kurze Zeit. So konnte man Alcatraz, die ehemalige Gefängnisinsel, sowie die Golden Gate Bridge (halb) sehen. Am Pier 39 haben die Seelöwen einen ziemlichen Lärm veranstaltet, da sich diese irgendwie gegenseitig immer anschreien und dann aber kurz darauf wieder schlafen, als wären sie super gechillt. Auf jeden Fall vollziehen die Seelöwen immer eine Show.
    Danach bin ich am Ufer zurückgelaufen, wo ich das erste Mal die Skyline wirklich sehen konnte, die ziemlich beeindruckend ist, auch wenn sie nicht mit Manhattan verglichen werden kann.

    Zur Umgebung in SF/USA:
    Amerikaner wollen alle große Autos, so gibt es selbst in der Stadt viele Pickups, die größer als jeder deutsche SUV sind, so wie einige Musclecars (Mustang, Dodge), aber auch Teslas und Prius Elektroautos.

    Orte:
    Union Square: Ein kleiner Platz zwischen den Hochhäusern.

    China Town: Hier leben die Chinesen, die seit dem Goldrush diesen Stadtteil in chinesischen Stil bewohnen. Es gibt sehr viele billige Kleider, Schmucksachen und die typischen Souvenirs. Auch chinesische Laternen sowie ein chinesischer Bogen am Eingang zum Stadtteil sind vorhanden. Außerdem sprechen die Menschen hier tatsächlich chinesisch untereinander.

    Cable Car Museeum: Kleines kostenloses Museeum, was zeigt wie diese funktionieren. Cable Cars sind Straßenbahnen, die sich nicht durch einen eigenen Antrieb fortbewegen, sondern sich an ein unter der Straße ständig bewegendes Kabel hängen können. Also ähnlich einer Seilbahn, nur das sich die Wagen aus dem Kabel aushängen können, um stehenzubleiben.

    Lombard Street: Eine kleine Serpentinenstraße, die seitlich mit Blumen bepflanzt ist.

    Fishermans Wharft: Geschäfte rund um Fischerrei, sowie Mueen und kleiner Hafen sind hier. Pier 39 ist besonders berühmt, denn hier liegen die Seelöwen mitten im Hafen.

    Skyline: San Francisco hat einige hohe Hochhäuser, vor allem im Financial District sind auch moderne Hochhäuser zu sehen.

    Gelaufene Strecke: 17 km

    Ich schaue mal, wie häufig ich es schaffe einen Reisebericht zu schreiben, versuche es jeden Tag zu tun.
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  • Day10

    Pier 39 + Bubba Gump

    July 16, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Der Pier 39 ist super cool. Überall coole Geschäfte und Straßenkünstler. An den Bootanlegern begrüßen einen sogar die Seehunde mit Gegröhle!😍 Die chillen einfach im Haufen und lassen sich von Touristen fotografieren. Am Ende vom Pier liegt „Bubba Gump“, das Restaurant aus dem Film „Forrest Gump“. Natürlich mussten Juli und ich rein und etwas essen. Wir haben unser Abendessen einfach auf Nachmittags verschoben, denn Juli und ich haben locker jeder 2000 Kalorien zu uns genommen! 😁👍🏻 Es hat sich aber definitiv gelohnt. Das Essen war sehr lecker, das Restaurant super cool gestaltet und den Ausblick auf den Ozean gab es sogar noch gratis dazu. Als Höhepunkt sind dann tatsächlich sogar noch mehrere Pelikane am Fenster vorbeigeflogen. Vom Pier 39 ging es dann zu Fuß in Richtung „Union Square“.Read more

  • Day105

    Tour durch San Francisco

    January 4, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Heute haben wir San Francisco zu Fuß erkundet. Erstes Highlight war die Lombard Street, die kurvigste und eine der steilsten Straßen der Welt (generell sind wir aber sehr viele steile Straßen hoch und runter gegangen). Auf dem Weg sind viele Cable Cars an uns vorbei gefahren. Dann ging es in den Hafen zur Fisherman’s Wharf. Dort lebt eine Seehundkolonie, die wir uns stundenlang hätten angucken können. Als nächstes sind wir auf den Telegraph Hill gegangen und haben uns San Francisco von oben angeguckt. Als letztes sind wir noch durch Chinatown spaziert, welche die grösste Chinatown außerhalb von Asien ist.Read more

  • Day1

    San Francisco Day 1

    April 29, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Apologies those waiting for the penguin app to ding (donkey & gma), but we have been so busy, sleep was more important!!
    After a long flight, we made it to the hotel!!!! Got early check in which was awesome! After only 1 1/2 hour sleep on the plane, once we showered and changed we were ready to go again! Made our way to Pier 39 and checked out the famous seal! Courtney your noice rage would be peaking.....they were so noisy but also pretty cute. We went on a carousel cause that’s why big kids do.
    We decided the best way to see everything easily would be to get on the double decker hop on & off buses. We got to see pretty much all everything on our sightseeing list!
    Got off at Alamo Square and saw the ‘Painted Ladies’ and had a Full House moment which was pretty cool.
    Completed the loop on the bus, heading over the Golden Gate Bridge. We sat on the top of the bus cause that’s what tourists do.....it was sooooooo windy. Seany I was a bit nervous on the open top so bike riding the next day, was gonna be interesting...was great to have a photo with something that you see in so many movies and shows!
    Next was the crooked ‘Lombard Street!’ In Summer apparently 350 cars line up per hour to drive down it!!
    Then it was back to the hotel for some dinner and a quick change and then off The Fillmore for Zara Larson concert which was a great night!!
    When my head finally hit the pillow, after it being about 4pm Tuesday Aussie time & 17,000 steps. I was out in less than 2 minutes!!!
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  • Day14

    San Francisco

    September 12, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    It is not far from the Napa Valley to San Francisco, but it could be a different universe. On a good day it might only take you just over an hour, traffic being the deciding factor. It was a two hour drive today and we were scarcely out of the Napa Valley before the clear blue of the vast tracts of ocean that make up the Bay area came into view. This is a city in an extraordinary setting. Three lanes of traffic became five and six, vast petrochemical plants lined the waterfront at one point and signs indicated names that belong in fiction, newsreels and on the movies: Berkeley, Oakland, San Jose, Haight-Ashbury (of flower power and hippie fame) Stanford and Sausilito. This is the home of Levi’s, Twitter, the genesis of the United Nations and Silicon Valley, a little to the south. The city itself is only 47 square miles, but the suburban sprawl extends all around the Bay Area. Tantalising glimpses of the famous Golden Gate Bridge glittered in the distance reminding me of the explosion of the population from 1848 onwards with the beginning of the California Gold Rush. Within a year fifty thousand pioneers arrived (the 49ers) and transformed a muddy village to a thriving supply and transit boomtown. As most of you will know a massive earthquake wiped out three quarters of the city in 1906 and the city has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes, bigger and better than before.
    We are staying in the Fisherman’s Wharf Area, which we walked round this afternoon. A good lunch was taken at Boudains, founded by Isadore Boudin, a master baker who arrived here from Burgundy in 1849, hoping to make it rich off Gold Rush miners. He perfected the modern Sourdough loaf and the original starter yeast-bacteria culture developed during the Gold Rush is still being used. We had been warned that the Bay Area would be cool in comparison to the Napa Valley. It was eighty in the shade and thronged with people. We retreated back to the cool of the hotel and an iced drink. This evening we ventured out in search of supper. This a fish and seafood lovers paradise and restaurants line the wharfs. We were spoilt for choice and chose one almost on the eeny meeny miney mo method. It didn’t look that encouraging from the outside, although the menu looked promising (in particular the truffled halibut). We were directed upstairs in the elevator and stepping out was a surprise. Here was a well set out room with panoramic views over the marina and the Golden Gate Bridge. As we ate a flaming sun set behind the bridge, turning the sky crimson with the bridge silhouetted against it. It was quite a first night and the halibut was delicious!
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  • Day17

    All Around San Fran

    September 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    This has been our final day in San Francisco and we attempted to cover just a few high points of the city. A difficult feat, when in truth you would need to be here a month to come close. Getting around is reasonably easy, as there are a multitude of public transport options. We started off with a trolley bus to market street, which is the main commercial street, walked two blocks north to Union Square. Here you have Saks Fifth Avenue on one side, Macy’s opposite, Tiffany’s to the left and The Francis Hotel on the only side left. Window shopping is by far the best option! We picked up a bus to the Golden Gate Park. This a huge green space bigger than and based on Central Park in New York. This part of the city was originally sand dunes, before being reclaimed and stabilised with natural flora. With in its bounds are the California Academy of Science, the deYoung Museum, a Bison paddock, yes with real bison in it, a large Kew style conservatory, the Botanic Gardens the Japanese Tea Gardens. We neither had the time or energy to explore all, but did our best to cover a small section! Being garden lovers, I suppose it was inevitable that we would eventually gravitate towards the Japanese Tea Garden. It is a legacy from the Midwinter Fair of 1894. It was beautifully landscaped by the Hagiwara family, who looked after the garden until the advent of World War 11, when like all Japanese Americans they were interned and after the war the city would not let them return. Fortunately, their beautiful creation has continued to be be nurtured and has matured into the largest such garden outside of Japan.
    Tired out, we caught the Big Red Bus back towards Fisherman’s Wharf via downtown. ‘Oh look’ says Peter ‘a shop called Good Vibrations-
    after the blog!’ ‘Not a total surprise’ says I, ‘this is California and being a Beach Boys fan, I named it after one of their songs that would set the scene’. It was only as we drew closer that I thought the window display seemed rather odd and on closer examination the wording over the door became readable. Here was the San Francisco Museum of Vibrators! You will probably not be surprised to hear that we did not jump off the bus to investigate further. A final supper at Scoma (very good seafood restaurant in the fishing marina) beckoned and somehow seemed more appealing. A quirky place San Fran, as stated in an earlier episode!!
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  • Day15

    San Francisco an Overview

    September 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Rome is built on seven hills, goodness knows how many make up San Francisco and they are seriously steep. In particular The Lombard St crooked street of Steve McQueen car chase fame! We have had the bad luck to be here in the week that the cable cars are out of commission for an overhaul, so sadly no cable car ride. As a consequence we took the Big Bus tour to give us an overview of the city, which did the job, but was excruciatingly hot (in the 90s today) on the top deck and filled with really irritating people who seemed unable to sit still for more than five minutes at a time. I know, I’m being unreasonable, but every time I had a photo opportunity some sweet soul jumped up in front of me, but some photos did come out as you will see. At the end of the three hour trip it was back to the hotel for a cool down. It is apparently going to be much cooler tomorrow.
    The San Franciscans are very proud of their home as a city of charm and culture. They are not wrong. It is quirky and In general I like it. Like all big cities there are parts that are less than salubrious and they clearly have a huge homeless problem, particularly in certain areas. Fisherman’s Wharf is rather too like an upmarket Gt Yarmouth for my taste, but the seafood is divine.
    The architecture around the city is outstanding from all eras and the buildings sit juxtaposed to one another with great effect. There are still some pre Earthquake and lots from the twenties and thirties. Downtown and the Financial District are ultra modern and there is the largest China Town here in the USA. Haight-Ashbury is as attractive and bohemian as you would imagine the home of flower power and the hippie culture to be. This a very green city. Trees line the streets and there are parks everywhere. The Golden Gate Park is larger than Central Park in New York. There is an very classical Opera House, Ballet Theatre and a brand new Symphony Hall built in the shape of a Grand Piano, key windows and all. As you approach the Golden Gate Bridge, the breeze picks up and the temperature drops. Once on the bridge itself, you need to hold on to your hat and anything else that may be taken by the wind. It is as spectacular a structure close to and from a distance, in its rust coloured glory. (Apparently, this colour is called international orange?! ). I can see why it has become iconic. The views are magnificent and on a majestic scale; looking back towards city, the Wharfs and out to the open ocean. A plethora of little sailing boats cut backwards and forwards, together with larger sea going vessels on their way to goodness knows where. The Bay is made up of a variety of microclimates due to the interaction of the landforms and the sea and whilst it was 80 degrees on the Golden Gate Bridge, it was 93 on the Wharfs and 105 in East Bay. It has a reputation here, similar to the UK, in that you could experience all four seasons in one day. At the moment though it is definitely Indian Summer and this is normal apparently. You are unlikely to suffer the sea fog that can blight the earlier summer months. Having said that we haven’t lost the chance!
    There is much talk of this being the most expensive city to live in, rental and real estate wise. Rents are high and some of the beautiful houses change hands for millions it is true, but the same could be said of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. I suspect it is like many a prosperous city (and it is riding a techno bubble at the moment), it is the place to be and the law of supply and demand rules.
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  • Day16

    Alcatraz

    September 14, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    A mile out into San Francisco Bay lies a rocky outcrop known the world over as Alcatraz Island. It has a long and notorious history and began life as a civil war fort in the 1850s, built by the US Army as part of its western defence plan against Confederate raiders. By the 1900s the civil war was long gone and it’s defences had become obsolete, so it was decommissioned, but Alcatraz has been a prison since those early days both for Confederate soldiers, Yankee deserters and Native American warriors captured during the the various Indian Wars. It was not until the Great Depression of the 1930s that the Department of Justice took over responsibility for Alcatraz, opening it as a Federal Penitentiary
    In 1934. Of the 1545 men who did time on Alcatraz, only a handful were notorious, among them Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly, Alvin ‘Creepy’ Karpis and Robert Stroud ‘ the Birdman of Alcatraz’. The vast majority of the inmates had been escape risks and troublemakers in other prison populations. Possibly because of its isolation, few visitors and secrecy, Alcatraz earned the reputation of being tough and with miserable living conditions. Certainly the routine was hard and the building stark and bleak, this being a maximum security facility, but it was clean and the food good. Only 14 prisoners ever attempted to escape and none succeeded. Prisoners arrived in chains and were issued with a blue uniform after showering and taken to their 9’ by 5’ cell. On the bed were the rules and regulations of the prison and
    No 5 stated “You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege.” This was the reality of life within the toughest of US Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island.
    The island is now a National Park and managed accordingly. There are over a million visitors annually. Your journey begins at Pier 33 along with a boat full of visitors and the journey across the bay takes approximately 10 minutes. The crossing is choppy, currents vicious, the water cold and the island is foreboding on approach. The concrete cell block sits high on the citadel of the island with a variety of facilities placed around it. There are electrical sheds, the guardhouse, military chapel, a morgue, a lighthouse, the warden’s house, a general store and officers club, barracks and apartments for the guards and their families and perhaps most surprising of all gardens, planted by the families who lived here in a tight, small, village like community. Most of these are now in quite a dilapidated condition and as you make your way up the long steep walk to the cell block, it is hard to imagine children playing and normal life continuing around this Penitentiary, so far removed from everyday living. As part of your visit you are given an audio guide which is first class in the picture it paints of life here and the inmates incarcerated within.
    I was reminded of our visit to Robyn Island off Cape Town, although there the conditions were undoubtedly harsher, but the principle is the same. In each cell is a lavatory, a rudimentary bed, blankets and pillow, a metal stool attached to the wall and a similar small ledge like table.
    No personal belongings were allowed unless you complied and behaved, when some privileges were then introduced. Two communal showers were allowed per week and meals were taken leg shackled in the dining room, where you had 20 minutes to eat your meal. The wind whistles through the building at all times and bad behaviour resulted in solitary confinement or even locking up in one of the six hell holes permanently in the dark. It is chilling, but men found ways to survive and cope. Surprisingly, bridge was a popular occupation and those men allowed to do so, would spend hours outside in the cold quadrangle playing.
    In many ways, I think one of the most difficult aspects of being imprisoned here would have been the close proximity to one of the liveliest and attractive cities in the USA. The views across to the mainland, the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge are beautiful and it is said that on New Years Eve after lights out at 9.30, the inmates could hear the revelry onshore, voices and laughter carried out on the wind, only reminding them of their isolation. The prison was closed in 1963 by the then Attorney General Robert F Kennedy, due to increasing costs and maintenance. This was a fascinating visit, well worth making and we arrived back on the Wharf perhaps rather more thoughtful than we had left. In search of a restorative cup of coffee we came across the latest dog episode. A seemingly normal couple pushing a largish brown bull dog type dog in a candy pink pushchair, with matching harness and frilly headpiece. If I had had the nerve, I would have asked if I could have taken a photograph, but feared I would have been unable to keep a straight face!
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  • Day25

    Goldengate, San Francisco CA

    July 9, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Well Red Bluff was one of those towns that Jason Aldean sings about, "Rearview Town", even the locals said to us why would you stay here. There had been a shooting just down the road from us with two police officers shot, they will be OK but the shooter died in when he crashed his car. All due to a random car check.

    We got away around 7.30 and headed down the US 5, 70 MPH and flat country so our eta to San Francisco was around midday. So what kept us occupied? several crop dusters, guessing what fruit was growing in the orchards you name it we played it.

    We decided to do a bay bridges tour on the way in so came in via San Pablo and this enabled us to take the North Western approach and visit the water side suburbs of Bellevue, Marin and Sausalito. We also visited San Quentin Prison which as we went to take pictures we were reminded by the guards that it is a live prison. Unfortunately the gift shop outside the gate was not open. Sausalito is a very hip place and we will go back to it on a Big red bus tour in the next day or two. We followed the coast road and came across Fort Baker at the North Eastern side of the Golden gate Bridge, wow what a stunning view, and it was here that a gun battery was set up to protect the inside of San Francisco bay in the early 1900s.

    We continued to the Western side of the bridge and a succession of lookouts where the views got better and better. We missed this 4 years ago as many people do. more gun emplacements an old radar installation and the Nike missile site. We saw harbour seals hauled out on the rocks and an amazing coastline. There are so many vantage points, the views are really captivating and it also make you think of the fate or survival of the escapee Frank Morris and his cohorts from Alcatraz prison.

    Finally we made our way across the Golden gate and into the city to find the Lombard inn. Chinatown was our destination for dinner thus ending a very busy day.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

North Beach, Little Italy, Норт Бийч, 北滩

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