Painted ladies and naked cyclists

Trip Start Jul 08, 2008
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Trip End Oct 31, 2010


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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 30, 2011

It was a stroke of genius to paint the Golden Gate Bridge orange. If it had been painted any other colour it wouldn't look so good. If it was white you wouldn’t be able to see it at all. We stopped at the park opposite San Francisco and admired the bridge vanishing into the fog, Alcatraz still catching the sun and sail boats dotting the harbour.

It really is amazing how foggy San Francisco is when the surrounding area is in bright sunlight. Mark’s cousin lives halfway between San Francisco and San Jose, and the weather there was gorgeous in comparison. We enjoyed a walk in some dry woods, looking for lizards. The hospitality was fantastic and it is always nice to sleep under a roof after more than a month of always sleeping under tent nylon. Our timing was excellent as Mark’s Aunt and Uncle happened to be visiting from Australia.

We had a day walking the streets of San Francisco – it would be interesting to map exactly how far it was on Google Maps. We walked along the harbor and then up pedestrian steps surrounded by lush plants to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill – the steps reminded me a lot of Wellington both for steepness, cuteness and lushness. Then we went down through North Beach, stopping at Beat writer haunts, through Chinatown and then up to see the cathedral on Nob Hill with the copy of Ghiberti’s famous renaissance doors from the baptistery in Florence. We also saw many zipping cable cars of course. From there we took a long walk to see the Painted Ladies, classic Victorian ornate houses, by Alamo Square.

Heading back to the train via grand City Hall and Union Square we came across a bike protest. All the hundreds of bikes swirled around a round-about for a few minutes, clogging up the traffic, and then biked out along the road we were walking down. I asked a few cyclists what they were protesting but didn’t get a clear response as they zipped by. And then the first of several naked cyclists went past. That can’t be comfortable!  Padded bicycle shorts were invented for a reason.

N.
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