San Francisco – Inclusive bustling city
|After spending a fabulous time in NY (If you want to read about my NY experience, please visit the following link), it was time for us to travel back to my place, i.e., San Francisco.
(For people, who don’t know about the timezones of the US, let me tell you that they have many different timezones such as Eastern Time Zone, Pacific Time Zone, Mountain Time Zone, Central Time Zone, Alaska Time Zone & Hawaii Time Zone)
We would gain 3 hours due to Pacific Time Zone compared to NY, which represented Eastern Time Zone. (That is 3 hours behind NY’s local time. That should give you an idea about how giant this country is.)
After our security check-in at NY’s La Guardia airport, we took a sip of hot coffee with NY’s famous sandwich from a local shop. That gave us a little renewed energy & excitement for our upcoming trip to San Francisco. We needed all the alternate energy in whatever forms it came to us. Shortly after that, we got our first boarding call from the airline. Quickly we navigated to our seating area & threw our bodies as we needed another power nap to get more energy for our next exciting leg.
I woke up once during the flight when the air hostess served their food. The rest of the time, I was in a deep sleep. It felt to me that I had been starving for sleep for quite some ages & couldn’t keep my eyes open. Finally, I woke up when the pilot declared – “Welcome to the city of San Francisco.” – I told my sister about our upcoming plan in this stunning city in the West.
I could see the plane maneuvering through the small pack of white clouds & at times; we could see the sunset from our seats as well. The flight hovered over the beautiful Golden Gate bridge & then landed at the San Francisco International Airport at 5 PM local time.
We took the Uber XL as we carried a lot of luggage along with the increased number of passengers who joined us from NY. The uber took almost 40 minutes to reach San Ramon, where we had been living for the last three years. San Ramon – this city always provided a sense of happiness due to its weather and lush green hills surrounded by many trees. Yet, you would get all the facilities of tier 1 cities in the US. The main attraction was the vibrant San Ramon Central Park. It was very near to my home.
We had witnessed a glimpse of green while returning to our home in San Ramon. We decided to take a day’s rest as we were all exhausted by our first leg of marathon travel. And that gave us renewable energy to all of us to start our second leg with 100% energy & emotion.
|The next day, we decided to explore San Ramon & some of the popular areas. That would be our prequel to our big journey to explore the city of San Fran. When you would have something special, you tend to enjoy that over time as every second counts.
As a food lover, I used to love the variety in morning breakfast. But, when there was a way to reach your childhood memory lane by inhaling the smells of your favorite food prepared by your loved ones, that would be a fascinating way to start the day.
Also, we spent nearly two hours on the next trip plan & all the schedules before finalizing everything. After lunch, we started to explore San Ramon. Our destination was “San Ramon Central Park.” This park was top-rated within the east bay area & many people from nearby cities used to visit that area due to its nature & beauty. During the weekend, children would flock to this place & used to participate in various sports activities as that park hosts soccer fields, basketball fields, baseball fields, cricket fields, swimming pools, bike track, skate surfing & many more.
Also, this park would host many performances, including folk songs, cultural programs & other activities. People would play country, blues, or jazz music & dance along with their beloved musical rhythm.
The main attraction of this park was the gateway surrounded by long trees, which creates an illusion of green pillars on your way to enter. It had a town hall for the local community, where many festivals took place, including our (Bengali) famous Durga Puja.
Once we entered, we saw the stunning illusion of light & shadow painted by the trees along with the evening sunlight.
This part of the north section of California started known as the “Bay Area” or “Silicon Valley of the world” due to several popular tech companies that were incubated & matured & grew over time. Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta & many more started to drive the global tech industry.
Despite that, the Bay Area never lost its charm to nature, even when most of the population was branded as highly tech-savvy consumers. I captured many fascinating birds over a while using my Tele-lens.
Not only birds, one could see many animals, including squirrels, cats, dogs, deer & cougars.
I picked squirrels & cats for their unique & clever acts. The squirrels were adorable. They used to respond more funnily. However, they were usually very naughty, which was why I consider them excellent photography subjects.
We did spend a glimpse of all of these & returned to our house by seven. We could see the stunning sunsets from our apartment balcony.
We had a delicious “egg roll” (Invented in Kolkata, India & famously known as Kathi Roll in different parts of the world) during the evening & had “chicken stu” with bread for our dinner. We went to bed early for the big day.
|I was super excited to show my family some of the best places in the city of San Francisco. Hence, I could hardly sleep more than a few hours. During the morning, I could hear the sudden rainfall, dampening the mood. However, it receded within an hour. And the sky started to clear itself, which brought me excitement & happiness.
Let me give you some context on the weather pattern for the people who want to travel here. The micro weather pattern is the reason for this quick change. Though it doesn’t happen frequently, you will never anticipate when the rain may come. However, that won’t stay more than half an hour & then one can see a clear, bright sunny sky with beautiful temperature in hand. However, the overall temperature won’t vary much. And, it should be ideal for working or roaming around. One will always feel like staying in a zone where the autumn or spring comes & then the time is frozen.
Perhaps weather is critical in influencing many creators who live here because of the positive vibe. Another essential system that plays a crucial role in California is public transport. Though, there are only a handful of cities in the US that have decent public transportation. Bay area is among them. Especially, East Bay has a beautiful BART metro system, which is a spine for daily traffic from east bay cities to San Francisco.
We decided to take BART from the city of Dublin, the adjacent city of San Ramon. We were surprised to see that the sky turned to a blue canvas with a bit of a white sponge of distinct clouds. That supercharged us even before we started.
We observed some of the fascinating natural canvases on our way. However, we were lucky not to stand still in the famous California traffic.
We reached Dublin BART station. We would arrive within 45 minutes if there were no changes in the schedule.
Also, we decided that we would travel with the famous “Big Bus.” That way, we could cover all the significant places within the city. Not to mention, we didn’t have to bother about any parking, which was expensive & rare to obtain.
The majority of the BART route was parallel to the main highway. However, the entire route was cordoned with a barrier. Moreover, the line went underground just after Oakland city & goes under the bay before connecting with San Francisco.
Finally, we reached San Francisco at 10 AM. We took the Uber from the Embarcadero station & reached the Big Bus stop. This time, we had a much better experience in San Francisco Big Bus compared to NY Big Bus during the winter as the west coast was warmer than the east coast. We decided to go to the top deck, which was open. The bright sunny day with cold weather created an ideal atmosphere for us to enjoy the trip.
We quickly looked at our route chart & decided our first stop would be the gorgeous “Palace of the fine arts.” This place was not only unique in architecture but also a home for various artisans & other performers who showcased their talent. One would love to see all those fascinating displays of art.
Due to the separate HOV lane, which helped us to travel from one place to another place during the pick hour without getting any traffic. Thus it gave us a VIP feeling.
We reached the entry point of our first destination. The lass green background surrounded by water was the picture-perfect frame for the Gate.
We walked a few feets & we discovered famous greek style pillars, which was the entry path.
And both my sister & my brother-in-law were mesmerized by the entire area & crafts sculptured on top of that. For me, that was my personal favorite.
We went further & then showed them the splendid beauty of the Palace. They were speechless to see this marvel.
We went further & we saw small ponds with birds flocking over there. Many of the locals were busy fish hunting.
We spent almost two hours & then waited for the next bus for the iconic “Golden Gate Bridge.”
We hopped on the bus & went to the upper deck. The bus started running almost at 50 miles. Then we saw the bridge & slowly we crossed the bridge & got down at the viewing place to observe this modern day marvel.
We took some selfies over there. However, we could hardly stay due to the strong wind.
We got the bus & again moved to the upper deck for our next destination. On our way, we did visit the famous fifth avenue. Due to time constraints, we decided not to get off the bus. This place reminded me of “Nandan” – one of the iconic places in Kolkata, India. Artists could showcase their craft & talent publicly. And, anyone could visit & enjoy the art form & also got to introduce with new arts or artists. I liked this place.
We got off at the opposite location of the Golden Gate Bridge, which was extremely close to the bay. We were exhausted & hungry by that time. We found some street food stalls & had our hot dogs with some french fries. With it, the hot coffee was the perfect accompaniment for our lunch.
Our next destination came shortly: “Japanese Garden” – one of the famous places in San Francisco for its beautiful gardens & the serenity surrounding it. We visited at the perfect time when you still had the fall colors to enjoy the vicinity. The peaceful, calm & silent nature was the ideal place to bring your concentration & one could perform meditation without any noise interference.
One of the unique places was the uniquely formed tree, which was the center of the attraction.
One could see a beautiful open theater opposite the garden’s main entrance.
We came out of the garden area & stood near the Bus stop for our next destination. This place offered one of my favorites – “Girradeli Center.” One could see many local coffee shops whose tastes were different than Starbucks. You could also see many local bakeries & locally produced chocolate manufacturing units.
My sister & brother-in-law were excited to see how the chocolate was prepared & bought many chocolates.
One could see the most beautiful alley, where the smell of new chocolate roamed around all of your senses. At times, one could force to daydream of staying inside an elusive chocolate world.
After spending almost an hour, we bought many boxes of a variety of chocolate & then decided to come out before we empty our pockets in a single shop.
We started our next leg to the “State Capitol Building,” which was my favorite compared to all the state buildings I had witnessed. However, our bus started roaming around the various streets & Gali inside the city. During this time, we noticed a quick change in weather. Sometimes, it went to the mystic fog surrounding the tall skyscraper & other times; one could see the clear sunny sky like autumn. Some of them were captured through my camera lens as a homage to the collage.
The entire city of San Francisco was situated on top of hills. At points, one could see the roads went up & in some cases, they went downhill. Not many drivers wanted to drive to this city due to the sudden geographical changes. So many vehicles, and bikes, tend to come on the lane without proper intimation in advance. All of a sudden, we could see we were going downhill. And, a little far, one could see the famous prison cell “Alcatraz.” That reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from the movie – “Welcome to the Rock” – by Sean Connery.
Yes. You are right – that line was from the movie named “The Rock.”
The bus stopped near the famous “Capitol Building” of California within ten minutes.
Per our initial plan, we were supposed to get down at this point. However, we decided not to & wanted to spend more time in the iconic “Pier 39.”
Hence, I decided to capture some of the street activities while we were roaming. I observed the local tram, people & the performance of local artists & many more during this time.
We got down near the Pier & walked towards the place. We could see young children playing on the chunk of lass green park right in the middle of the city.
We also observed so many boats parked at the bay shores. People were inclined to take their boats during the weekend & would love to spend their quality time on the nearshore of the pacific ocean. Some folks preferred to roam around the bay.
Eventually, we reached our famous Pier 39. One would get an extremely positive vibe once they saw the entry point.
One didn’t require any activity over there. Take a cup of local coffee or tea & enjoy the view of sea waves or the local artist’s performance.
At points, one could see different types of kites full of colors.
Also, you could witness seagulls & other birds on the pier fence looking for food.
Finally, I took the Alcatraz with my telelens.
We decided to watch the sunset while taking our evening snacks. Meanwhile, we observed one of the stunning sunsets at the Pier.
We observed the vibrant, gorgeous blue sunny sky with a patch of clouds, which invoked the idea that someone was painting with all their favorite colors & brilliant brush strokes to gift a picture-perfect frame for the people at the piers.
During this time, we observed an old carrier docked at the shore and another stunning second world war u-boat. Both of them turned to the battle museum.
After sunset, there was another beauty one could see with dazzling lights decorated all over it.
Here are a few more memorable snaps during our visits.
Ultimately, the time had come for us to conclude our journey. We booked the uber & the driver arrived within five minutes. I put one of the cameras inside my backpack & kept one in my hand. And that turned out to be the best decision.
I captured another brilliant snap of the Bay Bridge on our way to San Ramon just before Oakland.
We suddenly observed the vibrant city of San Francisco dazzling with gorgeous light during the evening while crossing the “Bay bridge.” I felt that the beauty of San Francisco was better than the nightlife of NY on any given day (I know many would agree & the same number of folks would disagree as well).
We reached our home in San Ramon almost at 10 PM. The next day, we would rest because we would travel to another gem of the city known as Los Angles after a day’s rest.
I hope you like this post. I will come up with another stunning post of our next leg in the coming days.
Till then, stay safe & keep yourself happy. 🙂
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