My second visit to San Francisco – again a business trip but which still allows me to discover the city a little bit further! I love this city, it has a very special atmosphere and I enjoy that you can actually still walk around. Plus it is so close to great outdoor sites such as Redwoods, Marina Highlands, Bay area, Yosemite,… It’s just too expensive otherwise I could imagine living here for a while.
I am arriving Saturday afternoon after a long flight – 11 hours from Frankfurt plus the transfer Berlin-Frankfurt. A short walk and I am asleep at 6pm. Of course I am up early but I love to discover a city while it’s still quiet. I am out for a walk before breakfast from my hotel at Union Square to Alamo Square. I am shocked seeing so many homeless people sleeping on the streets, I don’t recall having seen that many 1 and a half years ago… I hear later that the homeless come here for 2 reasons: The relatively warm weather all year long plus medical care for free. The Alamo Square area couldn’t be in higher contrast. Its beautiful buildings (especially the painted ladies are famous!) and nice park where people are already taking their dogs out. I enjoy the view and the moment. A guy is playing guitar all by himself, what a great way to wake up to the day!
After an american breakfast (pancakes!) I am meeting with my colleagues and we are off to Fisherman’s Wharf to take a boat to Alcatraz. The visit exceeded my expectations. First the boat trip offers great view on San Francisco, Sausalito, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz island. Then, the visit is touristy but well prepared and it is really interesting to get an insight into the life of the inmates through the audio guided tour. We spend a couple of hours on the island before heading back to enjoy a late lunch.
I will spend the next days at lower floor level conference center at Moscone… but at least get to catch up for breakfast with a friend who currently lives in Sausalito, enjoy a nice conference party at the giants park (Shery Crow live!) and have a short walk around Chinatown before heading back to Germany.