Day 1,302 of Traveling the World, San Francisco, CA – Part 4. August 25, 2021.

Part 4 is our last entry on the beautiful city of San Francisco. Today we are focusing on the Marina/Presidio area along the north shore of the city, leading to the Golden Gate Bridge; the Botanical Garden; and the Haight-Ashbury area.

First – the Palace of Fine Arts, immediately adjacent to the Presidio on the east. Wow! We were dazzled, amazed, and awed. In all of our visits to San Francisco, neither of us had seen the Palace before. It was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition and was so beloved that the public clamored for it to remain as a permanent part of the city. It is 162 feet tall, and evokes a decaying ruin of Ancient Rome. It is framed by a lagoon, and we walked around the lagoon, looking at the Palace, and couldn’t believe this 100-year-old sight was new to us! Just gorgeous, as are the weeping women around the tops of the colonnades, the angels standing guard, etc. We walked from here along the north shore as far west as we could, until we were almost standing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, the eternal, iconic symbol of the city. It is a beautiful walk, with soft waves splashing ashore, and, always, a nice breeze cooling us.

The Botanical Garden isn’t very big, but there is a lot of variety in a small space. We enjoyed wandering on the trails as well as off-trail. There weren’t any formal gardens, just lots of areas with planted flowers gracing our way along the trails.

Haight-Ashbury is up next. One day, as we sat stopped at a light on the bus, we noticed a beautiful Victorian house and talked about the wood carvings and details on the house. We later found out it was on the National Register of Historic Places – the John Spencer House, and we walked past it as we toured Haight-Ashbury. Actually, this area is all about beautiful buildings and lots of color, which is so evident in the photos. A lot of the district still looks quite psychedelic, with lots of artistic creativity.

We have added San Francisco to our list of favorite cities, and intend to visit more frequently when we are on the West Coast. We like the vibe, the diversity, and the feeling of a big city in what is a very compact area. We will be back!

The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda
The Palace of Fine Arts, across the lagoon, with one of the colonnades
The Palace of Fine Arts, Weeping Women
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda entrance
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda dome
The Palace of Fine Arts, Detail
The Palace of Fine Arts, Rotunda Angel
The Palace of Fine Arts, Lagoon
The Golden Gate Bridge loomed larger and larger as we approached from the east
This is as close to being “underneath” the bridge as we could get. Climb the fence, risk jail and a $10,000 fine, or be satisfied? We were satisfied with being this close.
The gangliest, most awkward tree we have ever seen
The Redwoods!
This could almost – almost – be a scene from the early 1900s
So many pretty flowers were in bloom
We liked all the heights and textures in this scene
A pretty, shaded area for a short rest
The John Spencer House, 1895
A mustache bench?? We love this city!
Early 1900s top….psychedelic 1960s on the bottom
More funky designer dreams
Coffee from Mr. Clean!
The intersection that named a generation
A typical grouping of businesses
Jimi Hendrix lived in this apartment building in the 1960s, which was painted red in honor of his song, “Red House.”
His car IS his office…and there was a line of people waiting for whatever he was peddling.
Where else but San Francisco?
All of Haight Ashbury is a long strange trip!
Can you hear?
The Mushroom Office
Pliny (not Pliney) the Elder died in 79 AD when Vesuvius erupted. Admiral Pliny was last seen heading off on a ship from Herculaneum to Pompeii to help out, but was never seen again (we thought). Now he’s on draft? We’re confused.
Polytechnic High School Gymnasium. It just rises up amidst a row of houses as you walk out of Haight Ashbury
Gorgeous gate
The inside of City Lights Bookstore, a legendary location for the Beat Generation
There are times we would have happily paid this, and even more
Half of a rabbit is not a sign we see very often
It’s great to see EVERYONE’S face again! Uh…when they’re not wearing a mask…
FREE BEER? Not so fast…
This sums up our stay in this great city – and includes us!