San Francisco, my first american city

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Me hanging outside the famous SF cable carts
If you're going to San Fran-cisco, you're gonna meet some gentle people there. I knew that beforehand not just because of the song but because I was going to visit some of my best friends there. By the way if you look up the clip from that song in youtube you'll see that half that clip has been shot in Antwerp, Belgium. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it, but I guess it makes sense, you can't shoot a video about "going" to SF when you're already there. Anyway we're drifting off

San Francisco was the first real city I visited in the United States, and I'm guessing it isn't really a great city to go to if you want to see "the typical american city." (if such a thing even exists) I stayed in Berkeley for nearly two weeks, and although there was a lot of hanging around in Berkeley we obviously went to San Francisco a lot.
Bay Bridge at night

The first thing I noticed after landing at SFO was the road network, super-wide highways going around the city and on top of each other everywhere. I remember being slightly freaked out because the "only overtake cars in lanes to the right of you" rule doesn't seem to apply in the US. After that we went on the huge Bay bridge on our way to Berkeley.

So, San Francisco itself, I don't really know where to begin. The center of the city is just filled with landmarks, which, although we tried to avoid the super-touristy stuff such as fishermans wharf is still something that we had to see. Upon passing fishermans wharf I remembered I had passed there thousands of times before in the San Francisco level of the game Tony Hawk pro skater 4, pretty strange :) Looking into the bay I saw Alcatraz, which of course immediately brought back memories from the movie The Rock.
We didn't go to Alcatraz though, since Natalie, my Californian friend told me it wasn't all that exciting. Of course we had to go see the golden gate bridge as well. For this we took our bikes into the BART train and got off in downtown SF and biked our way to the bridge, when you get close to the bridge it is a surprisingly steep climb, but then again I am suprisingly out of shape so that could have been it too. Seeing golden gate bridge was much like seeing the eifel tower for the first time, you've seen it on TV so many times that you can't really believe it actually is in front of you. After crossing the bridge we drove back down to a little town by the bay where we took the ferry back to SF. The road down was wide and with a good view so we all went down  as fast as we could, it was a great drive, until suddenly 10 meters in front of me a deer jumped on the road! I slammed my brakes and try to steer around it , the bike was slipping al across the road but surprisingly I didn't hit the deer and I didn't fall of the bike.
Slightly shaken I continued the drive down.

Other things we went to do in SF was of course ride the famous cable cars (most people didn't want to because it was "too touristy" but I did it anyway and have no regrets) I also visited the Museum of Modern Art which had a great collection. We went to see the Spanish district "The Mission" where people were openly smoking weed yet hiding their budweiser in brown paper bags, what a strange country :) And had a walk through the Haight-Ashbury streets. I met another american friend from Connecticut who just happened to be in SF that week and we walked through golden gate park, where for some reasons all the animals loved me and the squirels where climbing up to my shoulders. Wow, we did so many things, oh! another typically american thing we absolutely wanted to do was go see a baseball game.
We went to see the SF Giants vs the Milwaukee Brewers. I was surprised to see that fans from both teams were just sitting together and there were no problems, they even sold baseball bats IN THE STADIUM! Madness, if you were to do something like that in a European football game you can be sure you can carry half the fans out in ambulances.

So all in all, San Francisco may not be the typical American city, but it sure is an amazing place. Compared to the other Californian cities I saw that month I loved the liberal atmosphere and the great public transport, basically I loved everything about it except for the weather :-)

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Me hanging outside the famous SF c…
Me hanging outside the famous SF …
Bay Bridge at night
Bay Bridge at night
Hungover Bert doll in our house in…
Hungover Bert doll in our house i…