Good thing about San Francisco is that there are lots of pretty places to marvel without spending a dime. You just walk out of the door and there you are, enjoying fun neighbourhoods and streets. A lot of interesting window shopping opportunities, plenty of places for hiking and good spots for taking in the beautiful views. There are also plenty of good neighbourhoods, parks and streets to choose from, which makes it even more easier to spend time and not money.
Like Haight for example, a fun neighbourhood we have not mentioned earlier. We took in the hippie vibes while strolling through the area on our way to the Golden Gate Park. The intersection of Haight & Ashbury was the key point during the 60’s and the clock at the corner is stuck at 4:20. Even today the smell is thick of green and atmosphere is chill.
Before Haight is one of San Francisco’s most photographed houses nicknamed the Painted Ladies. Those are a row of colourful residential houses with a nice view to downtown in the horizon. When we visited the big park in front of the houses was under reform and maybe that was the reason we were less impressed by this attraction. San Francisco is filled with even more impressive and fun rows of buildings, but maybe it is the view in the back that seals the deal.
Downtown itself became more of a place of us to walk or go through when we were on our way to other destinations. To us the real charm of San Francisco lied outside of the core, which still is a nice mix of old and new.
In downtown Matte mainly wanted to see the Transamerica Pyramid, which is a noticeable part of the downtown skyline. Designed by William Pereira, it was the 8th tallest building in the world at the time in 1972.
I was more impressed by this charming, green and narrow building up the street from the Transamerica Pyramid.
There are some grand and majestic buildings like the City Hall, which is not the state capitol house even though it might look like it.
What it is, though, is a centre for the liberal and accepting- San Francisco. The first openly gay politician Harvey Milk was shot here in 1978, but from those ashes rose the SF where thousands of same-sex couples were legally married for the first time in 2004. Now the people in City Hall are working towards becoming the environmental leader of the States. All I can say is that hopefully the nearby Silicon Valley is willing to share some innovation also with the city, for a better future for us all.
All in all we were very happy with our stay in San Francisco. Even though it took Matte a night to accept our fairly modest accommodation, and from myself some patience to prove that the ho(s)tel had charged us too much, we felt relaxed and happy when we left the city behind. Next time I would definitely come back with a way bigger budget, since now we were too focused on counting the pennies and I felt we missed out on interesting things due to it.
But in the end you can never do it all. Cities evolve and change all the time. Always gives you a reason to go back, right?