Sunday, 17 April 2016

Wanderlust Wishes | San Francisico

Travel, Wanderlust Wishes, US, San Francisico
If you're alive, you can't be bored in San Fransico. If you're not alive, San Fransico will bring you to life... San Francisico is a world to explore. It is a place where the heart can go on a delightful adventure. It is a city in which the spirit can know refreshment every day. - William Saroyan

The first memories I have of knowing San Francisco existed was seeing the T.V series Charmed when I was younger. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it is about 3 sisters who find out that they are descendants of a line of witches. It was set in San Francisco and was one of those American shows that showed a shot of iconic San Franciscan landmarks in between scenes. I loved that show!

Between the scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Trams, the beauty and the magic, I was truly intrigued by the city.

Now that I am all grown up and not always lusting over the settings of make believe T.V programmes about witches, I work for a Californian born company whose head office just so happens to be based in San Francisco. Working in the headquarters for Europe there is a steady flow of visitors from the U.S and the directors and managers head out there regularly and if I said I wasn't jealous every time I would be lying. I live in nieve hope that one day they will find a reason for me to go. Unlikely, but hey I can wish can't I?!

If that chance ever presented itself, or I just went on a trip like a normal person, I don't know how I would fit everything I want to do into just one trip, but this would be my highlights.

San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Travel
San Francisco is beautiful people wearing a bracelet of bridges. - Hal Lipset
Of course, the first thing on this list is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is actually quite interesting for me, I have a little bit of a fear of bridges that go over water. It isn't like a paralysing phobia but I feel a little sick every time I drive over  the QE2 bridge to go to Kent or Brighton. It's an irrational thought process that involves the bridge collapsing, my car going into the water and my silly seatbelt getting me stuck in. See completely irrational and not something that I am willing to stop me going to Brighton or one day being on the Golden Gate Bridge.

For me the first thing I picture when I think of San Francisco is this bridge, it is such an iconic image and so beautiful. I intentionally chose a picture of the bridge shrouded in mist and fog. Even on sunny days it is rare that the bridge it completely clear but it just reminds me of the magic of being on an aeroplane in the clouds.

It seems like the best way to cross the 3-mile bridge is to cycle. Now I am not a huge cycler, it isn't my choice of exercise but it does bring back fond memories of summer bike rides. Biking the bridge would be the perfect in between. A bit faster than walking, leisurely cycling past pedestrians just seems really nostalgic but it will also allow you to stop and take a minute to appreciate the view and experience.

Alcatraz, San Francisco, travel
Every window in Alcatraz has a veiw of San Francisco. - Suzanna Kaysen
Isn't it ironic that a prison that is known for its inmates trying to escape from on an island that once everyone wanted to get off of is now somewhere so many of us want to go?

It takes just 15 minutes by ferry to get from the bay to Alcatraz island and once there you can take an audio guided tour of the island and once prison. Now a state park, Alcatraz is manned by park rangers who also provide tours telling stories of inmates and their escape attempts.

I find places like Alcatraz so intriguing. Such an integral part of American history so many people lived their lives on the island, wether guards or prisoners, and each one of them had their own stories, good or bad. You can also take the Alcatraz tour after dark. Just imagine how creepy hearing all those people's stories, walking round the exact cells so many of those inmates lived and all in the dark.

If all else fails, the views from the island are supposed to be beautiful. It is said that the views themselves were somewhat of a punishment for the inmates who could see the city from their cell windows. It showed them what they were missing out on every day of their lives.

Fisherman's Whaf, San Francisco, Travel
San Francisico! Is there a land where the magic of that name has not been felt? - Clarence F. Edwards
I did a Sea Lion experience years ago in the Dominican Republic and got to see the playful side of these amazing animals. I am a sucker for animals, but even more so animals in the wild, that exist places through their own choice and their behaviours are completely natural, not trained into them to get food as a reward.

Pier 39 is a huge complex that offers fun, shopping, dining, and spectacular views. Its west marina is also home to Sea Lions. These Sea Lions began appearing in 1990 n small numbers but since then, the numbers have increased and now every winter almost 900 of them make the K Dock of the west marina their home.

The Sea Lions visit here for their own reasons and are treated with respect by locals, yes they pull in the tourists but they are not touched or bothered by them. Employees of the Aquarium of the Bay are stationed here to ensure the Sea Lions are safe and to offer tourists information on the animals.

Cable Car, Travel
You wouldn't think such a place as San Fracisico could exist. The little cable cars whizzing down the City hills. - Dylan Thomas
Almost as iconic to San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge are the cable cars. San Francisco is notoriously made up of 42 hills. Getting round the city by foot could be quite tiring so what better way to do so than the cable car?

Clay Street Hill Railroad, San Francisco, is home to the first successful cable operated street railway. Although this Railroad was demolished in 1942, a number of other systems were created in the city. Now San Francisco is home to the world's last manually operated cable car network which consists of 3 routes.

For me, a trip to the city would be incomplete if I didn't join the hoards of tourists that ride this network now, although until that day comes I prefer to imagine that it wouldn't be full of tourists and screaming children. Rather just myself riding along, looking out of the window and taking in the city.

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Anything you would recommend doing or that you would love to do if you got the chance to go?

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