Day 4 was spent on long walks along the beach, exploring yet another side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I even had half a mind to assemble a collection called Thirty-six Views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was just such a wonder.
My first stop was to the beautiful and surreal Sutro Baths. I took a wrong bus which stopped way before my destination, so it was a bit of a hike up the ubiquitous hilly slopes in SF, but the end was well worth the trek. Even the trees were beautiful, in that fantastic crooked way of theirs.
The upper viewing point of Sutro Baths led to the Land’s End Trailhead, a popular and easy hiking along the coast of San Francisco. Naturally, I journeyed on. The Golden Gate Bridge was so beautiful from up there. I even spied a dolphin chasing after a fish down in the waters below!
I finally reached the other end of the Coastal Trail. Walking further on with no aim in mind (which is usually the case when I explore on my own), I ventured through the opulent residential area. One house even had Grecian pillars as part of its architecture. I somehow came across a turn to the left that led me to the entrance of China Beach. Compared to Baker Beach, it’s smaller and quieter, but much more family-friendly, considering how close it is to housing. Of course, it also offered a much closer view of the Golden Gate Bridge than Sutro Baths did.
My daily dose of the Golden Gate Bridge fulfilled, I extricated myself from the residential area and strolled aimlessly up and down streets till I reached the Golden Gate Park. I had previously attempted to enter the park when I explored Haight, but the entrance at the Haight end was occupied with so many homeless teens that I decided to skip it. This time, I was surprised to find that the rest of Golden Gate Park was not as disparate as I had previously thought, In fact, it was pretty nice.
The California Academy of Sciences from behind the plaza.
I had a very brief conversation with a stranger exploring the Golden Gate Park, who wondered if I had just come out of the Japanese Tea Garden. He had in his hand a copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel, so we talked a bit about the documentary and the need to read my copy of the book. The Diebekorn exhibit was recommended by him, and so I decided to check it out. It was really cool how I got an extra additional $2 off when I presented my bus ticket. So eco-friendly!
I got to chatting with a curious museum guard in charge of the top floor of the Diebenkorn exhibit, where about ten paintings were displayed. He even offered me free entry into the California Academy of Sciences and again into the de Young if I was willing visited the next day to look for him during his lunch break (I had mentioned just how expensive the tickets there were). I didn’t know my schedule for the next day, so I thanked him and said that if I didn’t have anything on with friends, I’d take him up on his offer. I didn’t in the end.
Jazy texted me if I had plans for the night. Since I couldn’t spend more time at the museum now that it was closed, I took him up on his offer to check out a band he was friends with playing at the El Rio.
And then to the coolest bar I’d been in for more drinks! I forgot to take note of the name of it though, but that seems to be the case when around town with Jazy’s mysterious navigational ways.
Any place with two Benders can do no wrong.
After that I was quite strung on alcohol, and wanted to walk a bit. Jazy gamely accompanied me to get one of the best thin-crust pizzas from a hole in the wall in the Mission neighbourhood, Arinell’s. My stomach was never happier in the middle of a Saturday night.
A short jaunt round the neighbourhood turned into a night hike up a nearby hill that offered a surreal view of the Mission District. Jazy was a little disappointed because of the heavy fog obscuring the lights, but I thought that the fog gave it the SF charm I noticed over the past few days I’d been there. It was a perfect cap to the day of sightseeing.