San Francisco (7 – and last)

Thursday 12/07

Wake up at 8am. We leave at 9:15am. Again a busy schedule today for the last (full) day in SF.

We park the car near the wharfs.

We start by a tour in the famous old tram (cable car). We take the Powell-Hyde Line, from the wharfs to Market Street.

After “visiting” Bowl’d Acai, we walk to Union Square. We go to the splendid Apple Store, one of the most beautiful in the world. Nice view of Union Square from the open window on the first floor.

We then walk to a Lloyd Wright house, which is now a menswear store; nice stairs.

We walk to Wells Fargo bank. We go up to enjoy the nice view from the peaceful rooftop, which is one of the many POPOS (‘Privately Owned Public Open Spaces’) in San Francisco. POPOS are publicly accessible spaces in forms of plazas, terraces, atriums, small parks, which are provided and maintained by private developers; they exist due to a 1985 downtown planning code. From there, we take the lift down to the Wells Fargo Bank safe deposit vault, which is quite impressive.

We go and see ‘Coast Poke Counter’ but it’s not too appealing. We eat at eatsa, the first fast-food chain in America that requires zero human interaction. The restaurant is almost fully automated, functioning like a vending machine that spits out freshly-prepared bowls. This is how it works: when customers enter Eatsa, they order their food at an iPad kiosk; then they wait in front of a wall of glass cubbies, where their food will appear when it’s ready; hidden behind the wall of cubbies, kitchen staff prepare the food; when an order is ready, an employee will place it in one of the cubbies; the door to that cubbie will then light up with the name of the customer who ordered the bowl. The entire process requires zero human interaction between customers and workers. It’s an inventive concept, although not as innovative as they claim but it still makes the buzz.

We eat our bowl on a terrace nearby.

I go and see Blue Hawaï Acai Café.

We walk to the City Lights Bookseller, a literary meeting place since 1953. City Lights is a landmark general bookstore, internationally known for its expert selection of books.

We then walk to the top of Vallejo street stairs, from where we have a nice view of the bay. We go down the stairs.

We take the last part of the Filbert Street stairs to reach the Coit Tower. There’s a 45’ waiting time to go up. There are still a lot of things to do on the list for today so we decide not to wait. We walk back to the car.

We drive to the 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs.

I go and see 2 poke shops nearby: Poki Time and Poke Origin.

Kids eat a froyo.

We drive through the Golden Gate Park, to see (pass by) the following buildings: the Conservatory of Flowers, the Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum, by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.

We drive to Legion of Honor, where we park the car. We walk to the Lands End Labyrinth, from where we have a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We then drive to the Visitor Center of the Golden Gate Bridge, where we park the car. We walk on the bridge, to the first pylon. We have a great view and it’s a cool sensation to walk on this world-famous bridge.

We order a Uber for the kids. They to go back to the house while we go and eat with Cyril (a good friend of ours from our time in Casablanca) and his wife Amina, at Pläj. It’s the first time we meet Amina. We spend a great evening with them. Very enlightening, inspiring (and successful) couple. Great evening. Thanks Cyril for this nice dinner!

Near the restaurant, we have a beautiful view of the City Hall (before and after dark).

After dinner, we walk to their service apartment. From the nice rooftop (with bbq and brasero), we have a gorgeous 360 view of SF.

We come back around 11:30pm, tired. We walk 16km today.

We go to bed.


Friday 13/07

We wake up at 8am.

We leave around 10am, after packing all our stuff. We leave SF today. We really liked this city. At least as much as LA, if not more.

We’ve been very much impressed (and inspired) by the Silicon Valley. You can feel that it’s here that it’s happening. It’s here that people work on how to bring back to earth the colony that will be living on Mars or on how to link London and New York in 30’… It’s also here that the Google engineers try to predict our life expectancy (they can already predict our death within 3 years…).

Before ‘hitting’ the road to Yosemite NP, we go and visit the Exploratorium Museum, a museum of science, technology, and arts, which is located on the piers. It’s an amazing museum, with a lot of inquiry-based experiences; it’s really mind-blowing. One of the best museums that we’ve visited during our trip. We stay from 11am to 2pm.

Before leaving San Francisco, we grab takeaway salads at Mixt, which we eat in the car.

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