San Francisco - Hippy Town

Trip Start Apr 01, 1990
Trip End Aug 21, 2002

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, July 2, 1995

We arrived in San Francisco more tired than we have ever been, then to make matters worse our luggage could not be found. After some delirious shouting at airport officials we left for our accommodation (minus luggage) the swanky San Francisco Palace Hotel. We were informed on arrival there was to be a welcome reception, starting in about 2 hours and we were expected to attend. Two days without sleep and no luggage, it was a big ask. But... 40 winks, a shower and our luggage turning up 15 minutes prior, we were ready to party.
We felt we could walk safely in most places (we did head advice to avoid the Tenderloin district) and wandered about the Financial District where our hotel was and into Castro (gays), Haight Ashbury (hippies), Chinatown and also Fishermans Wharf districts. Although on the subject of feeling safe we had intended to hire a car in San Francisco then drive it down to LA, but the first evening we turned on the news to hear someone was driving about the freeway shooting dead other drivers!!. We had a quick change of plans and flew back to LA instead.
We also took several bus tours, a scenic tour that took in golden gate bridge and up to the Twin Peaks lookout with a view over San Francisco. We noticed that everywhere there were Australian eucalyptus. Turns out they felled most of their forests to build houses and for fuel. On scouting the world for a fast growing replacement they came up with our humble gum tree (which is now like a weed). We also took a bus trip out to the Napa Valley vineyard area some 40 km from SF and had a great day wine tasting and a meal under shady trees at a winery.
An absolute highlight of San Francisco for both of us was getting to go to the Phantom Of The Opera at the Curran Theatre at a cost of $65 ea. Riding on the Cable car was also great fun.
At one visit to the Fishermans Wharf we discovered that Nathan Camiliere from Perth was playing the session which made for an enjoyable ale. Then the excitement of the July 4th celebrations, we took a boat cruise out onto the harbour and moored off Alcatraz island so we could watch the fire works display back over the city. Unfortunately the fog rolled in at about fireworks time and they exploded either above or in the fog so were hardly spectacular, but we still had a great time socializing and mock gambling on the boat.

Footnote: The Golden Gate Bridge is listed as one of The Seven Wonders Of The Modern World. 
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mizliz on

Arbutus trees
Greetings from Canada, Heather and Avan,

I have just finished your round the world blog and enjoyed it very much. Am now reading your shorter trips and note that arbutus trees are considered a weed in Australia!

Here on Canada's west coast we truly admire our relatively rare arbutus trees which mainly grow by the ocean and are apparently extremely difficult to transplant...otherwise we'd see far more of them. I love the way they seem to grow on rocky cliffs with very little soil to hang onto and especially their red bark.

I'm happy that you saw a bit of Canada, if only the eastern parts. Next time you come this way please try to visit the west coast, which is a very different part of our huge country, far more laid back than Toronto, and much more beautiful too. People compare our landscape to parts of New Zealand, which I've never seen, but if you love the ocean, sandy beaches, mountains, a temperate climate, huge trees and brilliant flowers you would love it here, especially in the spring, summer and early fall.

I could even offer you a bed and some good meals plus be your guide to see and enjoy this neck of the woods.

mizliz on

Ooops sorry! Double post.

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