Imagine waking up each day to a view of the San Francisco Bay, a view so special you can hardy believe it is yours. It lies there patiently waiting for you behind your drawn blinds. As first light dawns, the sky seems to have been delicately brushed from a pallet of soft pinks, as if someone has gently draped a thin veil across it, creating a subtle, translucent aura, in anticipation of the day to come. Small clusters of birds circle in the thermals or stretch their wings to soar like tiny shadows across the slumbering water, following each other to who knows where. Little stirs as the city sleeps on, the ceaseless flicker of traffic lights redundantly splash small orbs of colour along the almost deserted streets. The giant silvery wedges of the Bay Bridge momentarily glisten as its cobwebbed, perfectly symmetrical cables catch streaks of early sunshine. Within less than an hour invisible hands part the gossamer curtains across the sky revealing a cloudless, blue sky. Somewhere, someone toots a car horn, another replies, the city seems to stretch and yawn, another day beginning, so much to explore in this captivating place.
Pier 29 at first light
Nestled against neighbouring apartment roof tops, Pier 29 stands deserted. The distant hills across the Bay barely visible, just a thin shadow shrouded in the early morning haze. Low cloud hanging on the hillside rises up like smoke as the sunlight peeks through in the distance.
A morning runner traverses across the top of San Francisco’s steepest street.
Later visited by a seemingly never ending zig zag of excited, photo snapping tourists.
The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field
Across the water, tree covered cliff sides stretch out like an undulating wall to frame the Bay. It’s as if Mother Nature’s artist has brushed colour along their folds, from the silvery sage of eucalyptus to the deep green of pines, splashing the canvas every so often with tufts of muted aubergine.
A few miles over the Golden Gate in Marin County, picturesque Tiburon basks in the sunshine. Just across the Bay, yet a world away, so different is its vibe!
Restaurants are filled with chattering voices, coats and sweaters shed, as diners bask in the thrill of eating outside in January. Sunglass covered faces occasionally turn from their animated conversations to admire the city’s glorious view and watch the sail boats skim across their glistening playground.
The Golden Gate Bridge from Marin County
Returning to the city, we follow the train of cars which snakes its way along the freeway.
The first glimpse of the Golden Gate causes a gasp, almost as if it is an unexpected surprise.
Within seconds its towering, burnt red, steel girders and cables are above you. It’s magnificence never diminished, regardless of how many times you had traversed it before.
Shipping liners far below navigate the fierce, swirling currents before reaching the open sea as they slip in and out of the Golden Gate.
The water shimmers as these enormous boats drag themselves through the churning water creating a trailing froth of foam in their wake.
Coit Tower from North Beach, San Francisco
Gnarled trunks of eucalyptus, cedars and pines trees create a leafy skirt which billows out below this San Francisco landmark.
As dusk descends, the lights of Coit Tower begin to glow like a slow burning candle. Deceived by the unseasonably warm January weather, a distinct chill catches you slightly unaware as late afternoon shadows remind you of the time of year.
Soon shrouded in dark, Coit Tower stands as a lone beacon on the hillside, all that lies around and below hidden in the mantle of night.
The twinkling evening lights of the Bay Bridge begin its nightly dance,
as another day draws to a close and I draw my blinds, bidding goodnight to my view, until tomorrow…………
Written for 2 dear friends living here from England, just for a while. They have this home with a view and have kindly let me share it. Enjoy your time in our beautiful city by the Bay!
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