Freitag, 29. Dezember 2017

An ode to San Francisco

It’s already my fourth time in this buzzing and colorful city and it’s, hands down, my absolute favorite of all cities. I love everything, the old and modern architecture, the colors, the food, the people and nature.
Can you guess, what my favorite place/sight of the city is? You name it, it’s the amazing Golden Gate Bridge. I just love that contrast of the red against the blue of the ocean. This time around I was lucky to capture it from the Marin Headlands, almost without fog hiding it. What a success, since fog is a pretty common phenomenon in San Francisco. It was still cold and windy though.

A pretty flower stand in the Financial District.

On of my favorite buildings is the Transamerica Pyramid. It's one of San Francisco's landmarks. Unfortunately it's not open to public.

One morning I had a really nice breakfast at the restaurant Café de la Presse in Union Square right in front of the Dragon's Gate, which is the official entrance to China Town. For the first time in my life I ate a Croque Madame, a french classic in San Francisco, I loved it. ;)

I enjoyed the view from the terrace of the San Francisco Art Institute for the first time. It's quite awesome, but also a bit inconvenient to overlook the city, since once you are on the terrace, you have to climb over a mural to really see something, but it was worth it...

Also a first time experience, overlooking the city from Twin Peaks, the view is breathtaking. 
And an all time favorite are the Painted Ladies. Have you ever watched Full House or seen the movie Mrs. Doubtfire? Than I'm sure you know these pretty colorful houses. Luckily they finished renovating Alamo Square Park, so I walked around a little.

On the day I had to go home, I went to Baker Beach, also a first time visit. The waves were quite impressive.

After stopping by at Baker Beach, I went for a delicious breakfast and some shopping to Union Square.

Oh how I love San Francisco, did I mention it already? ;))
It was the perfect ending to an amazing and fun trip. Travelling really teaches me spontaneity and flexibility and that there's a reason for everything. There's something about how it shapes and grounds me and oftentimes forces me to step out of my comfort zone. 

On to the planning of upcoming trips. I'm already excited, what 2018 has in store. Stay tuned and happy New Year everyone!!

South Lake Tahoe

I have a soft spot in my heart for Lake Tahoe, not only because of the beauty this place exudes, but also because of memories that are intertwined with it. About five years ago I was at the beginning of what should have been a fantastic road trip with my family. It was the first time that we visited Lake Tahoe.  We came from Napa Valley and had just learned that my grandma has passed away. We were devastated and sad. Pretty fast we made the decision to interrupt our trip and return home. Neither one of us felt as if we could continue and enjoy the 3 weeks that were still ahead of us. So we organized everything from our hotel in South Lake Tahoe. The following day we drove to San Francisco to catch our flight. We drove along the lake for a while and despite our sadness, we were amazed by all the pretty views and eventually stopped at Emerald Bay, stepped out of the car and enjoyed the wide open beauty. This sight was soothing and calming and was somehow uplifting. Beauty for ashes, at least for a short while.

It was this particular spot I wanted to visit again on this trip. As soon as I arrived at the hotel, I drove up to Emerald bay and climbed up that rock, from where you can have a grand view over Lake Tahoe. I sat there for a while, enjoyed the quiet and peaceful surroundings. For me everything regarding my first visit here and the passing of my grandma came full circle. It really hit me as I realized this. I teared up for a moment and felt all kinds of emotions. I felt sad, happy and grateful, all in once.

Overlooking Emerald Bay
I know life has its own ways and sometimes we really don’t know why things happen. Actually I was supposed to be in Santa Rosa, visiting a friend by that time, but due to a horrible and devastating wildfire she had to evacuate and we couldn’t meet. I was glad to hear she and her kid were safe, thank god. So I changed my travel plans a little and first thing that came to mind, was Lake Tahoe. There I was, exploring nature by enjoying the evening mood on the day I arrived, hiking up to Eagle Lake the other day (It’s a moderate hike, about 2 hours) and watching the sun rise from top of Emerald bay and afterwards walking down to the shore. I really came to love this place even more, the mountains and forest that surround Lake Tahoe, the fresh air and the peace that comes from this scene. It was perfect. And I was thankful, to visit this place again I came to love, in a much happier state.

On top of the rock I sat on above Emerald Bay

On the day I hiked up to Eagle Lake.

Eagle Lake

Pretty sights from the beach where I stayed at the Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort By Diamond Resorts. I can highly recommend it, the rooms are spacious and super comfy and the staff are very welcoming and friendly.

Sunriese at Lake Tahoe
Doesn't it look magical??

Down at Emerald Bay

Can you tell, why I love it so much?