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San Francisco 2005

In 2005 I was fortunate enough to get in another trip to San Francisco. It was mainly work but hey, I wasn't complaining.

I really loved the city last time I visited so it was great to have the opportunity to go back.

We didn't have as much time to explore but managed to pack in a fair bit nonetheless.

We stayed in a great little hotel, La Petite Auberge on Bush Street. Its proximity to the centre of town and all the shops meant that my credit card took a battering - all that temptation within such easy reach ...

The first couple of days were taken up with getting over jet lag and working, but by the time Saturday afternoon came around I was all set to start exploring town.

I headed straight for the Mission district, as it was a part of town I really liked on my previous visit, and there were a couple of shops and other things I wanted to check out.

After doing what I needed to do in the Mission I headed over to the nearby Castro for a bite to eat, a mooch round some more shops, and to find out a bit more about the halloween celebrations that were due to take place the following week.

Feeling suitably refreshed I took a longish but gentle stroll over to Haight Ashbury to check out the former homes of one or two of my favourite 70's musicians a little off the main drag on Haight Street itself.

After hanging round the Haight for a while and soaking up the atmosphere, yet more mooching round the shops, I decided to head on to Ocean Beach as it was a lovely warm day. This gave me a chance to rest my weary feet for bit and let the public transport take the strain.

Got back to the hotel late evening, tired but happy having spent a bit of time visiting some of the places I didn't get round to seeing properly last time.

The following afternoon we got taken on a whistle stop driving tour of some of the sites off the beaten tourist track. Up to Twin Peaks (the view from here is particularly lovely on a clear night), via Pacific Heights and Cow Hollow home to the city's mega rich. Nice to see how the other half lives ... Some seriously large and beautiful houses here.

On our penultimate day in the city, work stuff now mostly out of the way, woke up to another glorious day and decided to get our asses down to the magnificent Golden Gate bridge hoping that this time it wouldn't be shrouded in fog.

Then did the gentle stroll along the shoreline back in to town via Marina Boulevard.

Every now and again you come across more great views up or down some of San Francisco's (very hilly streets), such as the view you get of the National Maritime Historical Park from Bay Street near North Point.

Eventually my meanderings took me to the North Beach area where I stopped for lunch and pottered around, (successfully resisting the temptation to get a tattoo at the Lyle Tuttle tattoo shop), before heading up to Coit Tower to check out more views of the city.

By this time having tramped a good seven or eight miles, I was feeling a little weary so decided to head back to the hotel for a bit of rest.

The walk back enabled me to spend a bit of time wandering through China Town which was very handily not too far from the hotel.

In the evening I got the chance to hook up with a friend I hadn't seen in years which was really great.

San Francisco is a fantastic place and we were very fortunate with the weather which was warm and sunny for pretty much all of our stay (apparently it had been damp and foggy for quite a long time before).

The down side is that there is a massive homelessness problem in the city.

It's a disgrace that so many disabled and other vulnerable people -- sometimes even whole families are seemingly left to fend for themselves, literally living on the streets. Things don't seem to have improved in the couple of years since my last visit -- if anything they seemed to have got worse. Not really what you'd expect from one of the world's most rich and powerful nations ...



Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Mural, Women's Building, San Francisco
The Mission District


Halloween Celebrations, Casto, San Francisco
The Castro


Victorian houses, Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, former home of Grateful Dead


Haight St., Haight Ashbury, San Francisco
Haight Street


Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Ocean Beach


Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge


National Historical Maritme Park, San Francisco
Maritime Park


San Francisco skyline from Coit Tower
Coit Tower


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