Today was also focused on energy because of what the California landscape had to offer us. Driving along back-country roads through California’s central valleys, we passed through a town called Lost Hills, which seemed to be nothing other than one large oil field. Oil rigs littered the landscape as far as the eye could see, north and south across the pancake-flat valley floor. It was a harsh and uninviting landscape, but what seemed most odd about was its proximity to rich agricultural lands. The oil fields were surrounded by almond groves and dairy farms, which gave way in each direction to other crops such as cotton, leafy greens and vineyards full of wine grapes. In some areas, mounds of freshly harvested almonds seemed literally piled up alongside oil wells – something to think about next time you bite into a plate of almond-crusted halibut.As dramatic as the oil fields were, so was California’s next big display of energy. Just east of Bakersfield, on the mountain pass into the Mojave Desert, lies hills littered in wind turbines. Thousands of them dot the landscape, twirling away in the breeze while providing a hopefully cleaner alternative to the State’s energy needs. We were joined on Twitter at the time by Tom Gray, who informed us that the two distinct types of wind turbine we were seeing represented varying stages of technology. The smaller, meshed looking turbines have been in place since the 80′s, while the larger, more cost effective jumbo-size turbines are the industry standard today. Somewhat ironically, the contrast between these two forms of energy was reflected in the environmental health of the State’s ecosystems we passed through. Whereas the clear and sunny day on the Monterey Bay revealed forest-covered hills, rich marine life and unpolluted skies, the air above and around Bakersfield was the exact opposite. A thick smog hung over that city like an evil gloom, and the entire ride through smelled of fumes and toxins. And then in the end we escaped that foul air, into the crisp, dry and mystically beautiful wilderness expanses of the Mojave, where we sleep tonight. Resting peacefully, looking forward to more of Big America tomorrow.October 16thToday was a day of crossing deserts and state lines. Parched, dry landscapes and obscure Americana dominated our voyage east on this leg of our cross-country journey. Escaping California offered little relief in terms of change of barren landscapes, although the appearance of giant solar farms was a welcome first. From the Mojave to the Hoover Dam, and finally the Grand Canyon, some of the south-westernmost stretches of the United States are as filled with historic iconography as they are beautiful expanses of desert wilderness.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit California is February and from May to June
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Golden Gate Bridge
The first on my list was the most famous landmark of San Francisco which is the Golden Gate Bridge. I still remember how windy and cold it was that day but the site of the bridge just mesmerised me. The Golden Gate Bridge is the first and the largest suspension bridge in the world. I could see people who had come there for their morning walks and cycling. I so wanted to do all of that but time didn't permit me to do that.
Far away from the chaotic streets of San Francisco lies an island usually called as "The Rock" and houses a prison which anyone will never dare to escape from. This beautiful island of Alcatraz also having a magnificent light house offshore of California is a famous and wonderful attraction of San Francisco. The famous prison and the lighthouse are historical landmarks and engineering marvels in the history of San Francisco and is now maintained by the National Park Service.
San Francisco has some of the steepest streets in the country. Whether you are walking or driving, the varying gradient of the road is sure to catch your attention and give your heart rate a healthy boost. Lombard Street is one of the most unique of the vertically tilted roads and is a great stop to add to any itinerary.Lombard Street in San Francisco is one of America's crookedest streets. The steep, hilly street has some beautiful Victorian mansions.Some of San Francisco’s most expensive real estate sits on Lombard Streets. In the spring and through the entire summer, Lombard Street is alive with color, as the many beautiful flowers.The curvy nature of the one-way drive along with the steep slope of these blocks makes it a visual treat.
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco. At Pier 39, there were shops, restaurants, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina. Fisherman's Wharf is the best place for families and kids.From the pier one can see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge.
Golden Gate Park
Rent a bike from Golden Gate Park with ParkWide and you get the option to drop it off at a different location, which is awe-some. I don’t remember the rate but I think it was a 3h ride. They have a map with best routes to go and get back depending on the uphill or downhill.
My afternoon was spent wandering around Union Square, and headed to Chinatown. I ended up in the Fortune Cookie Factory - so hard to find, in a little alley - where you can see the ladies shape the cookies and you get to try them, always down for free food !From all of the US, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the best, I think. It made me want to discover Asia so bad ! I saw men read Chinese newspaper, the bus speaker announce stops in Chinese before Spanish ! Incredible how big the Asian community is.--> Watch the video down below to see more :)Telegraph Hill is a nice climb to do, where Coit Tower is. To get in the Tower costs $7, no thanks I’d rather enjoy the pretty decent view of the bridge from the parking lot.
2. Indulge in chocolates and desserts at Ghiradelli SquareA landmark public square home to the famous Ghiradelli chocolate company boasts of some lovely restaurants and nice stores. Be prepared to be transported transported into a world of aromas, chocolate and lots of chocolate!
Offering a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of the whole city and located right in the heart of the city the majestic Twin Towers is a monumental natural wonder standing up to 920 feet above the sea level. It offers some breathtaking and stunning views of some of the most iconic symbols of the city like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the Alcatraz and the Market Street making it a must visit place in San Francisco. Also if you are around the place in early morning, watching the sunrise from such an elevation is an experience you will never get again in your lifetime.
Tip : Rent a bike to explore faster and cover more distanceFun fact, I was with my little backpack waiting for bus 7 to take me up the city to meet a friend of mine. And a guy asked me the time and wandered if I was on the way to work. I loved this interaction. I don't why I just feel good when I blend in and people think I’m a local.Anywho, so I meet up with my friend in her neighborhood near Golden State Park and Haight Ashbury.Weather is out of our control. And it can be frustrating when you’re in such beautiful places without the sun. Everything would have been more enjoyable under the natural light and not rain drops. But eh, that’s how it is.
There is something so beautiful and pure about mural art. San Francisco is filled with these public art displays but the best is in this ally off of Valencia in the Mission district. Stroll along Balmy and Clarion Alleys for some amazing works of art. These masterpiece murals painted by Mexican-American artists and other residents of this predominantly Latin-American neighborhood.
Legion of Honor
One of the most beautiful museums of the United States, the Leign of Honor is an historical building housing some of the greatest art masterpieces in the country. Its perfect placement overlooking the glamorous Pacific Ocean and the mossy Golden Gate Bridge makes visiting this museum a must thing to do in San Francisco. It was mainly architectured to commemorate soldiers of California who lost their lives in the first World War.
6. Shopping at Union SquareThis refers to the central shopping, hotel, and theater district of San Francisco. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War,earning its designation as a California Historical Landmark. Come here to visit the largest collections of department stores, upscale boutiques, gift shops, art galleries, and beauty salons in the United States.Union Square is a major tourist destination, a vital, cosmopolitan gathering place in downtown San Francisco, and one of the world's premier shopping districts.