Scenic drive with Dylan

February 18, 2009

Today we had booked a tour with Dylan. He came at ten and took 10 of us in his van for a great 4.5 hours. We visited most of San Francisco, the golden gate, and the highlights: muir woods, with the amazing redwood trees with 120 m high and some more than 1000 years! One would say that we were on a fantasy film and that little men would come from the forest. So let me try to remember all I heard from Dylan from the beginning. We started in our neighborhood which is called Tenderloin and is where most homeless and drug addicts hang around because of the drug dispensers where apparently anyone with a special card prescribed by your doctor "to help you sleep" which costs 100 USD could go and get very cheap marihuana. We passed soma district where according to dani, the guy who transmits SOMA FM is based, then we headed to Mission district where the city was born as Yerba Buena thanks to Spanish missionaries who settled there because it was the only flat area around, and at that time the main living was farming. We continued through the Castro -  or gay area – with fancy restaurants, bars, shops and plenty of rainbow flags. We took a picture below the 4.20 clock at the most famous crossing: Haight Ashbury, and we passed by the house where Janice Joplin lived for a while and others who created the hippie movement. We took again another picture at Alamo Square with the 7 sisters (Victorian houses that survived the 8.1 1906 earthquake). Down in the Richmond we were told that most blue collar workers lived there. Then up to Twin Peaks and its magnificent views, just before passing the Golden Gate Bridge with about 1600 suicides attempts, and only 45 or some of them survived. If the fall does not kill you the chilled waters (10 Celsius) or the currents would do. We entered Marin county which is the most expensive in USA, and then we see why: Sausalito and one of the best views in the world.

And after 10 minutes of driving we reached Muir woods where we walked for an hour between these impressive trees. You can breath in the calm and quietness of the wood, really inspiring and so close to the city.

These giants have the best conditions to grow so tall, the fog and a river underneath. We learned that in 1945 the UN organized a meeting there to instill the peace that the woods provide into the delegates mind. Do not think that it accomplished that, but I think this place would make an excellent work retreat.

On the way back we passed by the most expensive district in SFO: Pacific Heights with massive houses which can cost  up to 30 millions USD. Then Marina district or Yuppi area which is not the place to be when the big earthquake strikes.

Back to the hotel area, we stop at a very nice and expensive place for a tea (earl grey) and a coffee and then caught a bus to the Golden Gate Park. Dani lost his orientation and for the first 15 minutes we were walking in circles, but then I asked for a map, which I got for free thanks to my beaten up dog face and the fact that it was raining cats and dogs. By that time dani has resolved to use his very much loved GPS who took 10 minutes to position itself, the poor thing was unsure that the quantity of rain was right for SFO. We felt like " Singing in the rain" but without singing. Dylan had told us that it rains 30 days per year, so boy we hit it hard. The park was fab, but a couple of times we had to go backwards because the area was flooded and although our shoes are waterproof, our trousers not.


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