United States of America · 5 Days · 16 Moments · November 2016

Stage 3 of Matteo's Travel: San Francisco

13 November 2016

San Francisco is off the list too. Definitely an experience to be had, I loved every second of it. Driving in the back of the shuttle through a city as crowded as San Francisco always reminds me of why I don't want to live I a big city. But anyway, everything's been easy going so far, now it's on to the real deal: New Zealand. My mood is swinging wildly between excited and nervous because on the one hand, I've heard amazing things about NZ and I really want to explore the beaches and all it has to offer. But on the other hand it's a huge jump and I'm truly all by myself for once. Let's see how well I do.

12 November 2016

I didn't really feel like going anywhere far out today cause I didn't want to have to worry about having to be back by a certain time....that would just stress me out more than relax. So I decided to walk up and down the entire pier again just to have a nice view and enjoy the weather before I head out. Grabbed lunch on the way and sat down at a few piers to take in the view. There was also this one dude who came up to me and said "I'm going to issue you a ticket" and I was very confused because I was just sitting at the pier and eating. Then he pulled out his ID and said "Smile police" and started laughing. Apparently there is an official "Smile police" sponsored by the city that collect Money for a food court for the homeless. So I gave him a little something, just cause I'm that good of a guy. Now I'm back at the hotel and waiting for my shuttle to arrive to take me to the airport.

11 November 2016

After we were done in Golden Gate park we took the Metro (or Muni as they call it here) back to Union square and wandered up and through China Town for a bit. Marched all of Columbus Ave (pretty much the restaurant district) to see if anything caught our attention, but we decided for dinner at the Hotel since that also came with a discount for Air Canada and it was actually very very good. Not sure what my plan is for tomorrow yet but I'll find something to do before I embark on sitting in a plane for 13 hours.
Since I had done most my things that I planned to do yesterday, I thought I'd take it a little slower today and not blast through 5 things in one day. So I went to the Hotel Gym, which didn't even have a pull-up/down bar and got a little workout in. Then me and Sanne took the Metro to Golden Gate Park which is gigantic, even bigger than Central Park in New York. There are some gigantic trees there, especially in the botanical garden (No way right?). Quite the Zen place in the midst of all the heavy trafficked streets and very relaxing. But to do the entire Park in one day is close to impossible.

10 November 2016

I took the train out of twin peaks all the way into the financial district after I left. It was.....well.....it looked pretty rich, surprise surprise with that name. Skyscraper after skyscraper. And because it was starting to get dark, I grabbed myself a Sandwich at Subway and made my way down the entire pier, all the way from pier 1 to pier 45, which was beautiful at night. Now, my legs are dead and I'm just waiting for Sanne to arrive so I can lay in bed and hopefully sleep better than in the Hostel. There was also a small anti-Trump rally in the street today which was sadly shut down by the police pretty quickly. They were blasting the song "F*ck Donald Trump" which was actually quite catchy.
I'd been trying to implement Twin Peaks into my schedule after I missed it last time and since I was done my original schedule much earlier than I thought, I thought "Let's check out the map and see how far away I am". A lot closer than Fisherman's Wharf, that's for sure. While I was looking for someone to ask, some guy was yelling which caught some cops' attention. But what really got em running was the sound of a taser that some girl was making because she didn't want that guy near here. They didn't see who it was though. Anyway, after asking a bunch of people, I used the metro and the Bus to get to Twin Peaks and holy hell was it worth it. Sometimes I just wish I had a good camera with me. The weather is incredibly warm though so I was sweating a ton. The View was breathtaking though just as much as the hike was.
After Lombard street I thought "May as well take a Cable car and see where that takes me" and I landed right in Union Square. All the shopping centers and Restaurants just lined up one after another after another after another. I also ended up spending quite some time wandering the the Westfield shopping mall which is gigantic to say the least. If I actually went in every store, I think I could've spent like an entire day in there.
And Lombard street is also off the list. Not only is the road itself impressively steep and beautiful, the hike up there is also quite enjoyable. Some of these streets are so steep that cars have to park on a 90° angle. A lot of tourist though, nothing all the way there and then boom, it's like 100 people at the top and bottom of this road. It seems very out of place too, cause of the red brick road and the nice gardens all around the street.
Aquarium of the Bay is definitely neat too. A touch small for my taste, but nice nonetheless. The Aquarium tunnels are definitely the Highlight with Divers, Sharks and other big fish swimming overhead and being fed while you're walking through. Also went to see the Sea Lions since they're also on Pier 39. I expected them to smell a lot worse, judging from what people told me but it's honestly not much worse than a guys changing room after an intense game of [whatever sport you'd like to have here]. Very loud though, a lot of barking going on constantly.
I just got to my Hostel, and I must say....the view absolutely swung my mood from "I don't feel like sleeping in an 8 man room" to "Let's put the Hotel in this spot instead". The view is breathtaking and I could just sit there and enjoy the view for hours, it's just so relaxing. Breakfast here is free which is nice too. I kind of like it here actually.

9 November 2016

Alcatraz: Check. Probably my favorite place so far. Despite it's purpose, it was incredible to look at and read through it's history. I took so many pictures, I almost felt like an Asian tourist. Only saw one person wearing a Trump T-shirt. I wasn't really thinking about the time while I was on Alcatraz, so I stayed so long that I don't really have time to visit Twin Peaks today, which I'll try to do another day then. So I'll probably explore Fort Mason now and get settled in my hostel for the night. Maybe find a place to eat too.
And so it happened.....Hitl..I mean Trump is president. Well I guess you're gonna have to live with your terrible decision of either voting for the wrong person or with the decision of not voting at all. At least I can say that I was in America before it went to shit.

8 November 2016

Long but great day. We biked all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge, which is beautiful, and took the fairy back to the Pier. Gorgeous views from everywhere. The pictures do not make it justice. We also rode along the pier today, but I'll go more "in-depth" when I visit the Aquarium of the Bay and take some pictures of the Sea Lions. Grateful for having Sanne here, having someone you know is always great. Will be visiting Alcatraz tomorrow, which I'm really excited about.
Just got to the hotel and it's beautiful. The weather is amazing which is why we'll do the Golden Gate Bridge bike ride today, and might just combine that with a little ride around the Bay area. Caught Sanne right at the airport and thankfully got into the same bus ride so I didn't have to worry about public transport. So far so good.
Just landed in San Francisco. Pretty amazing views on the way there of the Rocky Mountains and the coast before San Francisco. Now to make my way to the hotel and meet Sanne.
Just got on the plane.....first announcement "Please inform any crew personnel if you carry a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 device"......Just thought I'd share, I found that quite funny. Seems like I was the only one who found that funny.