This is San Francisco, the city in disco style!
The flight from Washington to the Californian city of San Francisco is one more walk. An untrained person should know some of the nuances of this event in order to be ready to “surprises”.
Keep in mind that the United States airlines are not European to you; do not expect the usual service from them.
On the board of these airlines you will not be provided with any food, even if it is a long flight. We were provided at least once by water, and friends flown by these airlines from northern Europe, 9 hours without water (water is not allowed to pass in boarding an airplane, but not on the board).
There is no concept here to take a place in the salon according to the purchased tickets. Tickets indicate the number in the queue for the board! If you are at the end of the queue, then be ready to the fact that your place will not be with your friend, but between two large men (as they will sit tightly together, so they left place in the middle to you), and you friend is on the other row with terms no better than yours.
And with luggage it is horrible. It turns, that you pay only for luggage that is passed to the luggage compartment, but the one that passengers take in their hands is not paid for. And there are not just handbags, there are huge suitcases. Everyone has! The aircraft is not fly till the stewardesses with enormous effort will push all these suitcases to angles. Exactly by angles, because there is no any place on the upper shelves, they are not enough. And you are so regular is sitting on your place, passed you baggage and paid for it and would put your coat on the shelf. Sure, now! If you already did it, stewardess will ask you to take it and put it by yourself 5 hours, because others free suitcases shall be put on the shelves. It shall be right to pass your coat to the baggage, but I did not think that we fly from winter to summer.
We were settled to the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel.
May be its location in the city center somehow compensate its deficiencies. There worked only 2 lift cabins of 4. As there were 20 floors, we should wait lift for a long time. The room is single and crowded. Draining in the washstand is bad. I have never seen such coat of dust as it was in the room of this hotel. It drooped as decoration from the fan, on the ceiling and as garland on the walls. Switching on the hairdryer, I thought that is was broken, because it blew hardly. But it turned out that the back part of the hairdryer was fully choked by a fat coat of dust, I took it as a piece of felt and the hairdryer began to blow. Most probably such unsanitary condition in the room explained by the special services of the hotel - if you refuse from the cleaning in the room, you will have free breakfast on that day. Similarly, everybody uses these services actively. Shortly, I do not recommend this hotel. Savings on the salary of the services staff should be in more logical limitations.
But it is everything is little things of the daily life. One will not see the city sitting in the room.
This is San Francisco, the city in disco style! People sang this in past, when the disco style in music was at the peak of popularity. The city always moves with the times, but in some ways ahead it. There are 850 thousand of permanent resident in San Francisco, but actually there are 1.5 million of people move per day in a city. It is very well developed information technology; especially in San Francisco are the offices of the famous giants of the Internet industry. Nearby is the world famous Silicon Valley. San Francisco is a real incubator of software startups. By the way, especially here free Internet is highly distributed (that is absent at the airport in New York). And it is not only in shopping centers and institutions. Free high speedily Wi-Fi is available in all 33 parks of the city and throughout the main street of the city “Market Street” and it is planned to extend the service to all public places of the city.
The city is noisy, bright and dynamic. It seems that the fun lasts day and night. On the main street of the city, move unusual tams. There are more likely for walking without doors. But more actively people use this transport some even holding a small child armpit.
In the park in the evening there are street musicians performing well sing, professionally. The city rolls in green, the trees are sizeable and high. Beautiful buildings are both in the modern style and in the style of ancient European buildings. It is noteworthy the private houses in San Francisco are mostly small, but housing prices are extremely high (for purchase and for rent). The houses are located very tightly to each other to such an extent that residents of one-story buildings complain that they hear everything from neighboring house, as there is only a partition between them.
And among other things on the territory of the peninsula there are huge empty areas, but the buildings on them are prohibited by law to protect the environment. Therefore, there are incredibly crowded areas of the city with green coasts and huge massive forests.
In general, in California, organizations for the protection of nature have a great influence; against their decisions do not disrupt even the official authorities. When once was a very arid year, for saving a large area of crops it was required to water them, one had to sacrificed by the harvest, as “green” was banned enhanced pumping water from the river, so it was not damage the river’s flora and fauna.
San Francisco is multinational. It is a city-asylum. The main principle is here the protection of every person, whatever it comes, from the pressure of any authority.
In San Francisco, there are quarters, where compactly live these or other nationalities – the Italian quarter, Russian and Chinese, even there is a gay area.
There are a lot of shops and entertainments. There are the most highly paid specialists in the country and the largest number of homeless people. The climate is excellent. In winter above +20 0C. Homeless lie directly on the well-groomed sidewalks, near fashion boutiques, wherever they want, the police do not disturb them, do not violate human rights. In special centers for them it is organized food stations (as to say paradise for homeless).
By the way, most of the population does not have not only US citizenship but also any documents in San Francisco. And this is not considered a violation under the local law. To facilitate the social care of undocumented residents, the city authorities organized an initiative to issue ID for receiving medical care, arrange a child to school etc. Unlike other forms of state ID, city ID does not require proof citizenship or the status of a legal immigrant. To obtain a document, any confirmation of residence in the city (rent account, shelter letter for the homeless) is sufficient. The main groups of directed people are Latin Americans, Filipinos, Chinese, Russian and Vietnamese.
San Francisco is surrounded by the ocean. It is cold and stormy, but the landscapes are delightful. With a local guide we went closer to the ocean, to the territory of the former military base. Our trip passed along a picturesque winding road along by the coast.
Actually from the base there were only abandoned houses. There were walking people on the beach with children and dogs.
There is a small island on the formed famous prison for especially dangerous criminals of Alcatraz, not far from San Francisco, in the bay. No there is a museum. For some reason, those wishing to visit it you need to preregister for the ferry. I had no such desire.
Most tourists compulsory visit the embankment of the city. There are many souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes with a variety of seafood dishes, sweets shops, an aquarium, a breeding-ground of sea lions.
Once upon a time on the pier, where the colony of these large animals now lives, there was a pier, where a large number of yachts were located. But suddenly it was chosen by hundreds of sea lions. First, the owners of the pier were disappointed by the loss of profits from the yacht clubs. But increasing the number of tourists wishing to see this corner of wild life began to bring income to the owners of the pier. And now they support the safe living here of sea lions.
Be sure you have to look at the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a visiting card of San Francisco. On the observation deck from which this bridge is clearly visible, is crowded.
Another attraction of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Park, which can be dedicated to it all day. In the park there are many lakes, a botanical garden, and a Japanese garden with original buildings. There is also the California Academy of Sciences.
If you want to see Victorian mansions style, you can go to the Alamo Park, where you can see the gingerbread houses that are located below the park.
It's interesting to see the Palace of Fine Arts.
This complex was built as a temporary building for the exhibition, and was later rebuilt from a durable material.
It is interesting that the upper part of the columns of one of the buildings was originally decorated with statues of half-naked women facing the public. It seemed to the organizers of the exhibition too provocative. To please the customer and not to get to additional costs, the statues unfolded 180 degrees. So now you can contemplate beautiful female figures in a few strange poses.
In the center of the peninsula where San Francisco is situated, there are two high hills called Twin Peaks, from which a beautiful view of the city and the ocean opens. Climbing the hill, I did not do, because the car drove us to its foot, where it was so beautiful, and I do not love with crouching.
Walking through the streets of the city is difficult due to the fact that many of them move from the hill down, and then to the next hill. For the same reason, car owners in San Francisco often have to change parts of their cars, transport moves with increased load, and cars are usually parked under a strong slope.
Not far from the hotel where I lived, there is the Chinatown. But to get there one has to "work out a little mountaineering". In principle, there is nothing to do. The shops are filled with various trinkets. Souvenirs with the image of the city are all marked "made in China." Buy something there is reason. In the best case, you acquire a cheap mirror, and at worst you will get a fake for silver at the price of silver. If you are interested in shopping, then the city has a lot of good stores, although the sales tax here is high.
Later my tour of the United States continued at the edge of the cold mountains at the state of Utah. The winter as well as it is necessary there frosty and snowy.
Buy sunny San Francisco!