Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Californian Travels: Day One

Hello Everyone,

For my Spring Break I went travelling in California , spending four days in San Francisco, a train ride to Los Angeles, and then three days there.

My first day in San Francisco was an early one. I was up at 3 o clock in the morning for my flight at 6 o clock. Two short flights, from Albuquerque to Phoenix, then Phoenix to San Francisco, followed by a train ride, and I was in the city.

One thing I noticed is that San Francisco are pretty proud of their rail system from the airport, making out it to be a high tech scary idea but the first thing I noticed was that it was just a train. Trains are pretty much the same in every country.

Off the train, and I faced a huge walk straight up one of San Francisco's hills. Dropping my bags off at the Amsterdam Hostel, where I was staying, I continued the walk up to my first sight: Grace Cathedral. Just a short walk up a hill (when it is not up a hill?) to one of the prettiest buildings in San Francisco. It stands out from all the other relatively modern buildings around it, with its quiet ancient energy adding to the ambiance of the entire Nob Hill area.

Inside it didn't get any less spectacular. The huge main hall for services was awe-inspiring. While I was there, the organist was practicing for the Sunday Service, meaning that I had some glorious hymns being played as I walked around admiring the stained glass windows, and all the murals on the walls of the different points of the history of the Grace Cathedral. The middle of the floor is taken up by a giant Labyrinth. I don't know why they have it there. But it is gorgeous when it has all the light streaming through the stained glass windows.

My next stop was the cable car museum which was pretty cool. My dad would love it, you can see the pulley system that pulls all the cable cars, and how it works. There was a lot about the history of the cable cars and how they got started. Apparently a wire merchant saw a horse pulled trolley fall down one of the steep hills in the city, and tried to create a machine to solve this problem. So the cable cars were born.

After a long lunch, and an even longer walk, I headed back down the hill to Union Sq, where I sat and wrote a couple of postcards home. I continued down this way and attempted to see the Old Mint, but the street was blocked off by police, so I just continued to do a little window shopping. Once that was done, I headed back to the hostel for a little break and a change of clothes.

My next big walk was all the way to Telegraph Hill, and the legendary Coit Tower. Located on Lombarth Street, it gives a gorgeous view of all areas of San Francisco, including both of the bridges, golden and silver, shining at both ends. And in the distance, Alcatraz, a shadow reminding us of the brutality  of the past.