Wednesday, 3 September 2014

San Fran

We touched down in San Francisco at exactly midnight British time, which felt deeply surreal in the glorious Californian afternoon sunlight.

The plane journey was about three hours longer than I'd have liked it to be. The only highlight of the ten-hour marathon flight was being able to look at Mount St Helens from above; its summit peeking out from the top of a cloud like Olympus in Greece. I was obsessed with that particular volcano as a child. I remember writing a terrible poem about its big eruption.

San Francisco had started to look rather hazy by the time we exited the airport. The clouds had descended on the tops of the hills. It's strange: this city is famous for its fogs, but during the two week period when I was last here (exactly 14 years ago) we didn't see a singe mist descend.

By the time we'd reached the city itself, everything had become overcast and drab... But it didn't matter. This city is absolutely brilliant. We were faced with quite a walk from the subway station to our hotel, but because it took us through North Beach, and past places like Washington Square, we thought it might be fun.

The city is unlike anywhere I've ever visited. It feels like a curious blend of New York, Seville and, one assumes, certain cities in Latin America. The architecture is flim-flam and brightly coloured. We didn't even touch the surface with our short walk this afternoon, but we did see a big chunk of China Town, a number of old-school trolley buses, and countless wonderful views which seemed to involve buildings clinging to hills in ever-bizarre contortions. It's all very Herbie Goes Bananas here!

A quick check of my watch tells me it's 3am in London right now, which will explain why I feel like absolute death. More tomorrow. But we're both safe, happy, and excited to start our honeymoon.

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