San Francisco ( part 3)

I have been writing this  post  but I completely forgot about it… I normally try to post in chronological order . So, the post about Mission San Rafael and Mission Sonoma should had been posted after this one..But does it matter ? Not really !!

San Francisco is great for his architecture especially the Victorian style. Despite earthquakes and fires, thousands of ornate , late 19th century houses still line the streets of SF.

“Painted ladies” is a term in American architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. About 48,000 houses in the Victorian and Edwardian styles were built in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915 (with the change from Victorian to Edwardian occurring on the death of Queen Victoria in 1901), and many were painted in bright colors. One of the best-known groups of “Painted Ladies” is the row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square park, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as “Postcard Row.”

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Maisons.houses.SF.

I would  walk miles and miles to admire those beautiful  houses. I can only imagine living in one of those. I think this is part of what makes SF such a beautiful city. I did not mention yet but while we were there ( end of September/beginning of October) the weather was fantastic. We got to experience very warm day ( above 30 Celcius ). So I would say, this time of the year is perfect for traveling.

For once, we got to see the Golden Gate bridge completely. Often , fog is present  but  during our visit the sky was blue without one cloud.  We decided that we would walk the bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge . Many tourists like to do it and  I am sure locals do the same.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge  spanning the Golden Gate  strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between  San Francisco Bay  and the Pacific Ocean. It opened in 1937. It is 1.7 miles /2.7 km long. On the picture below, you see my little traveling bee , coming with me on my traveling adventures.

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More to read on the Golden Gate Bridge:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge.

 

 

 

Mission San Rafael and Mission Sonoma.

This was Day 11 of our California adventure.

The first Spanish Mission I visited  ( in 2013) was Mission San Juan Capistrano.  It was  a wonderful visit. Its beautiful gardens and old buildings  inspired me to see other missions and  learn  about this part of history. All the missions have similarities and differences. We ended up seeing 9 Missions during that trip.  I have so far visited 10 of the 21 Spanish Missions. I already wrote about all the  other missions visited in earlier posts.  If you look to the right on  that page you will see a list of posts. I think you cannot see all of them at once. You must go to archives  and in the month of October. This is when I started to write about my road trip to California. The very first mission we saw on that trip was Mission San José, then Mission Santa Clara, Mission San Juan Bautista,  Mission Carmel, Mission Soledad, Mission Santa Cruz, Mission Dolores ( in San Francisco) and finally  Mission San Rafael and  Mission Sonoma. Maybe , one day, I will visit the other one.

After leaving San Francisco, we reached San Rafael . This Mission was the 20th of the 21 California Missions; it was  founded in 1817.  The chapel is a replica built in 1949.  We  did not spend too much time there  as we wanted to reach Sonoma and visit the  last Mission on our list.

DSC02115 Mission San Rafael Arcangel.

We arrived in Sonoma mid-day.  Sonoma State Historic Park is centered around Sonoma Plaza. More than a dozen buildings important to early California history can be explored. This mission  was the last and  northernmost of the California’s chain of missions. The original mission was destroyed and rebuilt several times.

DSC02235 Mission Sonoma.

We also  visited  Mexican General Mariano Vallejo’s home in Sonoma as well as  his ranch in Petaluma. It  was once the largest and most prosperous ranch in Mexican northern California.  It was a very interesting visit. So much  history. So much to learn about the past.

DSC02283                                                                                                                                                                                              House where the General Vallejo lived with his family, in Sonoma.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DSC02302                                                                                                                                                                                         Petaluma Adobe ( State Historic Park)

Thanks for reading my story.  After our visit in Sonoma, we settled in Napa for another interesting day.

 

San Francisco (part 2)

Hi to all my readers !  Happy New Year to all of you !We are now half-way into the month of January. Time for me to get back on posting about our fall trip in California. Here is the second part about our visit in San Francisco.

We only had two full days in SF but we enjoyed them to the max. Using the car the first day, we  toured the Golden Gate park. We  visited the Japanese Tea Garden . A very beautiful place ! Shaded stone walkways  and footbridges are meant to be strolled at a leisurely pace. Ponds, miniature waterfalls, a big bronze Buddha, stone lanterns, statuary and a couple of pagoda contribute to the beauty of this tranquil little garden.

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To really appreciate the golden Gate Park, we need time . On the far western edge of Golden Gate Park stand two wooden windmills that were built to pump groundwater for irrigating the park’s lawns and gardens, helping to transform the dunes that once covered the area. It was built in 1902. It was in operation for several decades, but fell into disrepair after the park switched to electric water pumps. The Dutch Windmill was restored in 1981.

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The southern Murphy Windmill was completed in 1908. It was in operation  for several decades as the other windmill.  Murphy’s Windmill’s restoration  was completed in  2011.

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If you visit and have time to see inside the Park visitor center, you will appreciate  murals depicting scenes of the city during the Great Depression.

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San Francisco is a great city, easy to navigate especially when you have a GPS but even without it a good map is  enough to help you get where you want. More on San Francisco in my next post.