I started my mainland USA adventure in San Francisco. Well, I actually flew into Oakland as it was cheaper. It was a straight subway ride through to downtown San Fran, which was easy enough, even though I was warned by well-intentioned folks at the airport to be careful taking the subway because there’s “lots of guns and drugs around”. Great, thanks for that.
San Fran is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. The architecture was lovely, the setting inside the San Francisco Bay just gorgeous. It helped that I had amazing weather and was really able to appreciate the city.
I spent my first day walking, and walking, and walking. I got over the bloody hills, I tell you that! I had lunch in the gayest diner in Castro, where I felt very out of place being the only female in the place, and a straight one at that. I had a philly cheesesteak, and it took me ages to eat. So begins my American food adventure, which would see me put on several kilos.
That first day I also experienced Haight St, which I loved, and took the obligatory photo of the city from Alamo Park, with the “painted ladies” in the foreground.
In San Fran I met up with Melba and Chele, friends from Madrid who I hadn’t seen in 3 years. They are now living in New York, but at the time they were living in Los Angeles. They made the drive up to San Francisco to meet me there. Together we went out in North Beach, visited Alcatraz (the best part of which I thought was the view) and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was great to see these guys again, and know that the years apart have not affected our friendship!
Accommodation note: One of the highlights of SF was the hostel I stayed at – the Adelaide. They really thought of everything to make it easier and more enjoyable for their guests and it had tons of character – a huge improvement on the bed-bug infested hole that was my accommodation in Waikiki. I thoroughly recommend it.