San francisco 1

San Francisco : An Overview

San Francisco is the Spanish word for “Saint Francis” and it is a cultural, commercial and financial centre in the state of California. Founded in 1776 by Spanish colonists around the Golden Gate area; the gold rush brought rapid growth to the area.Unfortunately 3/4 of the city was destroyed in 1906 in the earthquake and fire. It was rebuilt rather quickly and subsequently became the birthplace of the UN in 1945. A popular tourist destination,it has a hospitable climate and various landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz Penitentiary, fisherman’s wharf and china town.,It also serves as the headquarters of many multinational companies and social media giants.The city and the surrounding bay area is home to a variety of cultural and educational institutions.

Where else do I start my SFO blog from ; than…the Golden gate bridge?

An iconic structure in San Francisco, The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in the world .

The Golden Gate Bridge:

Opened in 1937, it  has become a  symbol of San Francisco and connects San Francisco with Marin County. It is 1.6 km long lying across the strait between the San Francisco Bay and Pacific ocean. On both ends, it is flanked by the natural beauty of The Golden Gate National Parks. It carries US Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait and has pedestrian and bicycle traffic.There are walkways on the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists on either side of a six lane highway. There is a visitor centre and gift shop near the parking area.

The vermillion colour of the bridge was chosen to complement the surroundings and for visibility in fog.

Unfortunately it has the dubious distinction of being the most used suicide spot in the world!! After many such episodes, protective barricades have been put up.

We were driven down to this icon by our host. Arriving at Vista Point, the parking area, we walked up to the bridge and soon we were standing next to a great engineering marvel. We enjoyed the sight of the bridge and took some photographs. Later, we drove on the bridge….a novel experience! This was our golden gate bridge visit from the land side.

The Golden Gate Bridge

Driving on the golden gate bridge

We had a tryst with this iconic structure for a second time during our stay. This came courtesy our second host at SFO….our cousin who lives in Pleasanton.We did a Bay cruise . This cruise took us on the San Francisco Bay and we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. A view of San Francisco city and Alcatraz Island is  an attraction on the cruise.

The Golden Gate Bridge from the bay       


On the Bay Cruise  

View of San Francisco city from the bay

Alcatraz Island

This is another tourist destination in San Francisco. It is the site of an old abandoned prison and has the oldest functioning lighthouse on the US west coast. A ferry from Pier 33 takes one to Alcatraz island.

A view of Alcatraz island as we sailed on the Bay Cruise.

After finishing the cruise, we were driven down to Sausalito.

Had nice lunch at a Mexican restaurant there. Mexican food is similar to Indian and i grew fond of it.

Sausalito is a picturesque residential community with large number of houseboats which can be hired for stay. It has a wide choice of restaurants and is generally a fun place. We walked up along the waterfront enjoying the scenery.

A Typical street scene in Sausalito..duplex houses    

One day, we set off on a picnic to Santa Cruz Beach with a bag filled with goodies to munch on the way.   A nice drive on the highway and then off to the side road  and we found ourselves on a festive looking beach front. An amusement park on the beach with lots of excited children and adults with happy smiles and colourful gear…..

Had fun walking around and enjoying the festive beach front

Selfie time at Santa Cruz beach


A local wanted to pose with us….a bonus….

And some good food!

All in all , a great time indeed!!!

From San Jose, we had the opportunity to visit Stanford University.

Stanford needs no introduction….and a visit to this iconic education centre  ; set in more than 8000 acres adjacent to Palo Alto was indeed very gratifying.

The tree lined avenues, landscaped lawns and traditional old architectural buildings, admixed with modern buildings and shopping centres  makes it an amalgamation of the old and the new. One does feel a sense of envy for the lucky ones who have been associated with it!

The corridors of learning

The church at Stanford

Some pictures from Stanford Campus highlighting the amalgamation of the ancient and the modern

Well friends, with this I stop here for the week…see you next week once again at San Francisco…..

For a detailed itinerary on SFO, please visit the link below

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The big sur

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