Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our First Day In San Fransico

Wednesday October 10th 2012

We are staying at the Fairgrounds in Antioch CA for 2 weeks, just a parking lot with full hooks for $17.00 a day.  It is about 30 miles north of San Francisco. We will be taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transportation) into town, just a couple of bucks, no hassle, no finding and paying for parking.  It is about an hour each way, but it was a nice time to sit back relax and read a book. 

Mike’s younger brother Owen has lived in San Fran. for many years, it has been about 15 years since we last saw him.  Owen met us at the BART station in town, and we spent the day having a personal tour guide. 

Walking San Francisco may not be easy with all the hills and stairs, but we managed to keep up with Owen. 

We left the BART station and headed to Union Square.

Mike and Owen in Union Square

Mike and his brother Owen.

China town CalifDSC_0015China Town San Fransico

China Town

From Union Square we walked to China Town, a very hopping place, lots of people. 


The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest building in San Francisco and one of its most iconic. Although the building no longer houses the headquarters of the Transamerica Corporation, it is still strongly associated with the company and is depicted in the company's logo.   It is 850 feet tall, upon completion in 1972 it was among the five tallest buildings in the world.

The tower has no public access except for the first floor lobby, thus visitors cannot go to the top for a panoramic view.

A few statics on the building,Transamerica Pyramid 


St. Peter and Paul churchSan FranSt Peter and Paul Church San FransicoSt Peter and Paul ChurchSts Peter and Paul Church

Saints Peter and Paul Parish in the neighborhood of North Beachand across the street from Washington Square.  A beautiful church inside and out, the church has some of the most beautiful stained glass I have ever seen.

From here we walked to up Telegraph Hill to Coit Towner, I think Owen was testing us to see how much stamina we have.  Not once did I break down and whine. Of course I new we would stop at the end of the day and have a glass of wine. 

PA100241 PA100242 PA100246

The Coit Tower is built on top of the 285ft high Telegraph Hill, which is situated between Fisherman's Wharf and the Financial District. In 1850, a pole with movable arms on top of the hill was used as a signaling station. The wooden arms were adjusted to signal the incoming of ships. In 1853 it was replaced by an electric telegraph station, hence the hill's name.

Coit TowerMurals in Coit Tower Coit Tower, San Francisco

The Coit Tower was built in 1933 with funds from Lillie Hitchcock Coit. She was an eccentric who was best known for her support of the local firemen. When she died, she left one third of her fortune for the beautification of the city. The result was the Coit Tower, which is both a memorial for Lillie Hitchcock Coit and for the San Francisco firemen.

Murals in Coit Tower PA100254

The interior of the tower has a number of murals, most of them depicting life in California during the Great Depression. The murals are the result of a project that was part of the so-called 'New Deal' in which the federal government initiated a large number of projects aimed at creating as many jobs as possible for the unemployed

In total 25 painters and 19 assistants worked on the project, which shows - among many other scenes - a bank robbery, a scene from the harbor and a look into a department store. At the time several of the murals caused controversy as they were deemed too left wing. Thanks to their historic significance the murals are now protected as a historical treasure.

Alcatraz PA100264

At the top of the Coit tower is an observation platform with spectacular 360° views over San Francisco.  Alcatraz Prison and Pier 39. 

That was enough sightseeing for one day, we stopped for a glass of wine in the Italian neighborhood, from there hopped on a bus back to the BART station.  Thanked Owen for a great day.  

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