For the first time, I didn’t hand-write notes in my travel diary. I had just completed a journal article for which I had to spend four solid weeks and weekends writing before I left Australia. I was all out of writing energy. Even though I have been thrown back into daily life since I returned, I still feel compelled to write something about San Francisco.
San Francisco needs help, as I guess a lot of large cities in the United States do. The gods shone on me when I first arrived, providing a sunny Easter weekend. I got to admire the Golden Gate bridge and potter around in the open top tour bus for a few days. Sausalito was my favourite stop as it was a quaint village by the harbour with lots of character. I also enjoyed learning about the hippie history, photographing the ‘painted ladies’ and visiting eclectic shops.
But, and here is the big BUT… every day for a week I had to walk to Union Square through streets of homeless people. There are hundreds of homeless people in a 4-5 block radius. My lovely hostel was on the edge of this area and let me tell you, it does not make you feel very safe, especially when you get lewd comments as well. The negativity of seeing some absolutely awful, gut-wrenching sights really got to me.
Yosemite National Park
My saving grace was a day trip out of the city to Yosemite National Park, where again I was blessed with the weather. I did some fabulous walking to experience some beautiful running waterfalls and stared in awe at the magnificent scenery. I highly recommend it.