If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair!

If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair!

(Thanks to Joanna Amoroso for the translation)

It is 11 pm and San Francisco airport is calm. We quickly pick up our bags and we approach the exit trying to take the last train to the city centre, but it is too late. We decide to hop on a shuttle ride with a Chinese guy who has been living in San Francisco for 13 years and who brings us to our destination through the broad, deserted streets. We arrive at Kennix’s home, our accommodation during our stay in SF. We found this place on the AIR B&B website, which saved us a large amount of money. The house is cosy and well organized. We settle our stuff and just as quickly we fall sleep. The next morning we meet a young Swiss couple who are sharing the apartment with us. Matthew and Sandrine are planning to travel for 1 year between the US, Mexico and Guatemala, they are struggling with the camper they have just purchased. We say goodbye to them and immediately go to buy something to eat: we are starving, as we did not have any food during the long trip from Europe. We go into the supermarket, and we feel a bit confused. We spend some time to figure out what to put in our shopping basket. The shelves are bursting with products, products of uncountable varieties, packed in giant and colourful boxes: tons and tons of food and drinks that can confuse even the most methodical consumer. After an indefinite time spent in the supermarket trying to orientate ourselves, we go home and, as we prepare our breakfast, we study the map of the city.

San Francisco is a big city, lying on 43 hills, populated by 4,594,060 people in the urban area only, 8.6 million throughout the country. Funded by a Franciscans’ mission in the late 1700s, it grows incredibly during the gold rush era began in 1840 and, in a few years, a small village of 800 people, becomes San Francisco, a city of 100,000 inhabitants. Walking through the city, we find the same faces of the European conquerors who we met in Spain and Portugal. A Columbus’ statue dominates the Pioneer Park, on top of Telegraph Hill and near the Coit Tower (the latter, it is a gift to the city from Lillie Hitchcock Coit who says, “to be in an expended appropriate manner for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city which I have always loved “- but we are not so sure that the tower really added beauty to the city). In the area of the Civic Center, the Pioneers’ Monument summarizes the most important stages of the city history through the faces of the most famous pioneers like John SutterJohn Fremont and Sir Francis Drake. The statue is strongly criticized due to the figure of a native american subdued at the foot of a Franciscan priest and a Mexican vaquero.


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