San Francisco and Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology, innovation, and social media.
The area is now home to many of the world’s largest high−tech corporations, including the headquarters of more than 30 businesses in the Fortune 1000, and thousands of startup companies. Silicon Valley also accounts for one−third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States.
To reach to our final destination – Four Seasons hotel in Palo Alto, we flew from Houston to San Jose and took the Caltrain from the airport to Palo Alto. Actually, we had to take a free bus shuttle from the airport to the nearby railway station and then to Palo Alto.
Palo Alto is one of principal cities of Silicon Valley and at the same time it’s headquarters to a number of high−technology companies, including Hewlett−Packard (HP).
Palo Alto is one of the five most expensive cities in the United States to live in and its residents are among the highest educated in the country.
The city name means “tall stick” in Spanish; it is named after a coastal redwood tree called El Palo Alto.
Additionally, Stanford University, its affiliates, and graduates have played a major role in the development of this area.
After we explored Palo Alto downtown, a next day we decided to make a short visit to San Francisco. As Caltrain is very frequently servicing San Jose and San Francisco. it was very convenient to jump on it at the nearby Palo Alto train station.
It was a beautiful Californina sunny day and we enjoyed the San Francisco Bay landscape while the train was making several stops in almost every city on the route to San Francisco.
We arrived to San Francisco later that morning, looking forward to spend the rest of the day exploring this amazing city. Several years passed since our last visit, but there is always something new to see in San Francisco!
After a short scrolling down the Market street, we walked acrossed the hill to the famous Pier 39. Although it was two days after the New Year, the pier was still decorated in a holiday atmosphere creating an unique impression. Everything was just perfect.
This pier was first developed by entrepreneur Warren Simmons and opened back in October 4, 1978. Currently, it is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction with several restaurants and offering several fun attractions.
These are some of them: video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier’s marina.
From the pier one can see Angel Island, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. Blue & Gold Fleet’s bay cruises leave from Pier 39.
Our next stop was Golden Gate Bridge.
Interesting facts about the bridge:
Proposed colors for the bridge included gray, aluminum or black and U.S. Navy wanted black with yellow stripes. The consulting architect Irving Morrow, decided to paint it in International Orange which is unusual in the realm of engineering.
Its cables were made by the same company that built the Brooklyn Bridge.
It has been closed because of weather three times, just for a few hours. However, it was fully closed on two separate occasions: for visiting dignitaries Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle.
From the bridge, we made a short visit to another San Francisco landmark: Lombard, the crookedest street.
San Francisco is famous about the steepest streets in the country. Whether you’re walking or driving, the varying gradient of the road is the most impressive experience. Lombard Street is the most unique and is already photographed by everybody.
However, there is no publicly designated photo point to make the best shots, so all photos are individual reflections of an ambient at a time of visits. For example, to take an advantage of the light, you may want to take morning shots of cars coming down, from the bottom to the top. Most postcards were shot from a private residence not available for a public.
Why is this street crooked? The answer is actually simpler than you might suspect: safety and comfort.
Back in the 1920s, residents of the area suggested adding some sharp turns to increase pedestrian safety and make the grade more manageable for vehicles of that time. Of course, that had added an impressive aesthetic appeal to the area.
From Lombard street, we walked down the hill back to the Pier 39. Please enjoy a few of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge sunset tour images!
The tour included the Golden Gate sunset, Alcatraz island and the twilight ocean view at San Francisco.
At the end, hopping that you enjoyed this show of original photos from beautiful San Francisco and Bay area, we want to thank you for watching.