onsdag, september 07, 2005

Top ten tourist things seen recently in California

This is, I suppose, a companion piece to this one, only with digital camera. I was travelling around California for 2 weeks as compared to my long weekend travelling Denmark, so thus the 10 things rather than just 5. That said, I could easily have come up with 15 or even 20 - I can hardly believe that the coastline didn't make the top 10...or the Monterey Bay Aquarium...or See's...or It's It...or Anchor Steam (that's a Thor top 10 item, as I don't like beer). What was I thinking? In the final analysis, these are my top 10, and I'm sticking with them. Feel free to add your own personal California faves in the comments - I would love to get some inspirational ideas for my next trip out.

1) Redwoods: You cannot see them and not fall hopelessly in love with them. And no photograph can do them justice. They are too vast, too far up, too shrouded. Or, to steal from a great poet of my acquaintance: 'Wow.'

2) Chinatown: When I lived in the area, Chinatown for me was the place to go to buy cheap Mao shoes. Since I've been away, I've discovered the touristic charms of the area. It was made more interesting by comparisons that I could now make to the 'real' China (my first visit to China being last Christmas/New Year's).

3) San Simeon/Hearst Castle: What can I say...I had no idea what to expect, and couldn't imagine that it would be that exciting - I'm skeptical of any location that requires one to go through on a guided group tour. I was wrong. It was a several hour picture-taking fest. Bad pictures for the most part. Actually, it said quite clearly on signs throughout the grounds that photography was o.k., but written permission is required before publication. I assume that this will not apply to my blog, or look for my 'top tourist things seen recently in prison' series sometime soon.

4) Japanese Tea Garden: The home of fortune cookies - yes, they were invented here, a fact which got me a free meal from a bet made with a naive foreigner. An oasis of peace...if you can ignore the sound of rebuilding work being done on the nearby DeYoung Museum and Academy of Sciences.

5) Mendocino: A quaint California town, with cute shops and immense numbers of tourists. Which makes it a lot like any other quaint California town (for example, Ferndale, Cambria, Sausalito). But with it's own scenery of course.

6) SFMOMA: The best museum architecture ever. Classic photography collection. Great giftshop and cafe/restaurant. Worth it just to go to the bridge on the fifth floor and then look down.

7) Baseball: No trip during the season is complete without a game. It's an adventure. Of course it's better when the Giant's win. Or if it's a good game. It wasn't. However, we scored tickets in the Field Club, where I have never been before (and probably will never be again, alas). We forgot the camera for this one, but if we had had it, the photo here would have been of the waiter delivering food to our seats. Sweet!

8) Golden Gate Bridge: I feel pride for 'my' bridge whenever I'm in Lisbon and gaze upon 'their' 25 de Abril bridge, which is a clear copy (no, really, it was modelled after the GGB). The Lisbon bridge is longer, but mine you can walk across it. For the photo, I'll refer you to my last post - by far the best pic taken on the trip.

9) Alcatraz/Angel Island: These go together as we saw them on the same day. I hadn't been to Alcatraz for well over a decade, and had never been to Angel Island and knew nothing about it really. The main thing was the trip in the ferry, the views of the city from the islands, and imagining life in maximum security. And hiking on Angel Island...I would imagine, but alas had no time for it.

10) Food: I always gain vast quantities of weight when I go home, as I pretty much eat continuously, all the comfort foods, and then going out to eat all the time (well it is my holidays after all). We had amazing Mexican, Chinese, New Age, and steakhouse cuisine, not to mention breakfast places, diners, and even fast food (no Taco Bell in Europe). We also had the worst Mexican food I have ever had in my life, but that I will save for another post.

8 kommentarer:

James Medhurst sagde ...

Some great places - I only went to a few of them when I was last in California. I'll definitely have to come back to see Alcatraz, SFMOMA and some baseball.

Chibithulhu sagde ...

Chibithulhu has always wanted to go to California. So many dreamers, so many sensitive minds ripe for oneiromantic influence. Chibithulhu could take over the world if some faithful cultist would drive him out to California.

Daphnewood sagde ...

I would have put food at the top but that is me. All of those places are fantastic and I agree about the Redwoods. Pictures do not do them justice. Okay, so maybe Northern California has it charm ;-)

Sangroncito sagde ...

All of those are great places!
In San Francisco and Northern California I would add:

Haight Street (San Francisco): funky shopping, cool people watching, lots of history and beautiful victorian homes

Mission District (San Francisco): the new hip area of S.F. Lots of cool shops, clubs, scenes, great latin food, galleries on 24th St. and the beautiful murals all over the neighborhood.

Berkeley: A progessive city with cool Telegraph Ave. for people watching, shopping, fantastic bookstores and a walk through the beautiful U.C. Berkeley campus.

In Los Angeles: I hate L.A., except for Downtown, which has been experiencing a rennaisance lately with lots of interesting old and new architecture and scenes.

kimananda sagde ...

Hiya all!

James, no SFMOMA? I suggest getting your airplane tickets now. Quickly, before the playoffs (which the Giants will certainly not be in!)

Chibithulhu - If I had a car, I would gladly drive you. That way, I wouldn't have to go to my dictionary after this post to look up 'oneiromantic'.

Daphnewood, I am honored by your concession. ;-) If it makes you feel any better, I consider San Simeon (well, pretty much anything south of Monterey to tell the truth) to be in Southern California.

Sangroncito - Had we made it to the Haight, it probably would have made the list. As for the Mission district, I have hardly ever been there, to tell the truth, except for one restaurant and Good Vibrations, but your enthusiasm is making me very, very curious about it. I will definitely try to do some exploring there on my next trip.

Opaco sagde ...

i have the same exact photo of the entrance to china town. we stayed in the hotel at the top of that block on the left hand side of the street.
that is amazing how literally exact that picture is with mine. hmmm, were you there next to me taking a picture too? were you that small german man?

kimananda sagde ...

opaco, you've found me out...I am in fact that small German man. And I would've gotten away with it too if I'd only chosen the other Chinatown pic!

FourLegged sagde ...

Kimananda, you're a small German man? Does Mom know?!