Sunday, 2 December 2007

2nd December, 23:00

Whoa, today was epic, I started out a bit sluggish just chilling in the lobby on msn etc. Then I wandered across the street to the little mini-mart where I bought 6 high energy fruit rolls, a bag of carrots, an apple and a sprite for about 5 dollars. I then proceeded to walk to Golden Gate Park, now this is a hell of a way. I came across some magnificent buildings which I think were City Hall Rotunda and an opera house on Van Ness Avenue. After that I staggered up Fulton Street, by which point I was feeling a bit rubbish and came across Alamo square, which is a lovely little park surrounded by very brightly painted Victorian houses, which I'm told are famous. As I carried on up the hill, although the houses were beautiful, they weren't maintained at all well, which was a shame. In fact this turned out to be the "roughest" place I saw all day, and it wasn't even rough.

One block had a strangely large amount of LPs littered around the street and outside houses. Odd. When I reached some amazing uni/church buildings there was a random Asian tourist there taking the same photos as me, just for some reason in the middle of the road, so he kept having to dodge traffic. The views down the hill were amazing, as well as to the left where there were loads of houses nestled amongst the trees on the hill. I finally reached Golden Gate Park, and whoa, it's amazingly crazy but awesome. It started out with huge trees, slightly overgrown, and quaint little paths, all quite tranquil and mysterious. Then suddenly I came across a road and the presteenly kept conservatory of flowers. A beautiful glass building, a bit like crystal palace circa 1800s, surrounded by flowers and a huge clock on the lawn.

Throughout my time in Golden Gate Park I mainly followed John F Kennedy Drive, which was closed for traffic, I presume as it was Sunday. However, it was full of cyclists, skaters, joggers and loads of rollerbladers. I even saw rollerblade dancing and at one point loads of random people just dancing salsa on a bridge.

Anyway, I then came to a large expanse of, I guess, courtyard. On one side was the apparently closed California Academy of Sciences & Aquarium. Though I think it's moved to somewhere temporary. On the other side is the de Young Museum of Contemporary Art, which looked cool, and was next to a pretty Japanese Tea Garden. In the centre is the music concourse, with a cool tree plantation and the such like. As I was walking on I came across a cool little place called the enchantment garden, which had a little pond and a number of statuettes, very nice.

I then went to the Stow Lake, and began to walk round but I started to feel really rotten by this point and had to sit down for a minute. I absorbed the view and then decided to put on some Rage Against The Machine on my portable noise creator. This soon picked me up and reduced all pain in my head. So I carried on round the lake, across a bridge onto the island in the middle and then off at a different bridge. I then played with a squirrel for a while, then a woman's dog tried to eat it, with failure luckily. We then had a conversation about how they are really rats (in fact I had just seen a rat) and I shared the anecdote of one running up Mum's leg, much to my amusement. I bid farewell to the lady and grabbed a coffee from a snack bar, which also hired out boats/peddalos/bikes. After that, I decided nothing could stop me and I would walk all the way to Ocean Beach, past football fields, Bison Paddocks, more lakes, golf courses and an ancient ( at least in USA terms) windmill.

Wow, the beach is amazing, I took many photos and then wandered up the cliff road, where there was a path to that followed the cliffs and greenery along. Amazing views across the bay and towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The twisting trail was extremely enjoyable but I'd fallen off the map and the sun would set soon, which might be an issue. I didn't worry too much though and enjoyed the various lookouts and crazy steps. Eventually I popped out on a random road somewhere, amongst a very posh but very nice neighbourhood. I wandered a bit until I came across some Avenues, and turned down 29th. Using my GPS on my n810, that had no battery left, I found California Street, that went all the way into town. So I walked.

And walked. And walked. Past village mini-marts, and people performing Hadukens on cars, past humming birds and Christmas lights, and extremely nice castle-esque Victorian houses. Eventually I hit Jones St and descended down the steepest road in the world to my hostel. I staggered in, and mapped my route on google maps, as you do, and found it was 15 miles long!!! No wonder I couldn't bend my knees properly. After relaxing a bit I went to the Hostel movie night where we saw Conspiracy Theory with Mel Gibson, and Transformers, which is still highly awesome. Free popcorn as well.

Went to my room at like 23.30 and a new guy from Korea was there, Cheung, I think. He was quite quiet. I crashed out, tired and achy. Great day though.

No comments: