The best part is that it took us less money to reach the Silicon Valley from LA than what we spent at the Golden Gate bridge toll. Yes, after spending 6 hrs and $5 we reached San Fransicso, the city where all the tech magic happens, and the city where I lived my “Californian dream” for more than two years.
My buddy Aniket was kind enough to offer us his apartment to crash for the four days we were in the valley. He took a leave so that he could spend time with us and also cooked some great Indian breakfast. We spent the morning chatting and catching up. It was three to four years since we lastmet, but felt like yesterday.
Alcatraz is a shut down prison facility situated in the waters near San Francisco. It was supposedly very difficult to escape from the prison given the cold Pacific waters. We had plans to visit Alcatraz Island that day but couldn’t get tickets. Turns out you have to book them well in advance. Hence we changed plans and started off at Land’s End state park with our first fantastic view of Golden Gate. Then of course driving over the bridge, we reached the famous vista point and clicked a lot of photographs.
Across the bridge, the road branches off into two, one going towards Sausalito and other climbing a mountain, and reaching Sausalito from the back side. It’s a pretty scenic drive. You can get some pristine views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean on a clear day. Yeah, Frisco is always foggy and getting a clear day with ample sunshine is considered fortunate. We were fortunate.
We circled around the ocean and got back into the city by nightfall. After driving on the world’s most crooked street, the next stop was to get some dessert, @Ghirardelli. Those mouthwatering desserts and chocolates are unforgettable. And yes, you also get a free chocolate when you enter their store! :). After a full dessert meal we went to twin peaks. It is the highest point in the city from where you can get an entire birds eye view of San Francisco! Its the best place to view fireworks from!
Bay area is full of Indian restaurants and cafés. The best south indian food you will get outside India will be in the bay area. Madras Café, Madurai Idli Kadai, Sarvana Bhavan, Anand Bhavan are some of the must visit restaurants when you are in south bay. Craving for good south Indian food, we planned all our meals in each of these restaurants turn by turn. I was totally delighted to be back! I miss that food!
One full day was dedicated in catching up with all my friends and re-living bay area almost after three years. While we were in the bay area we also went to Santa Cruz which is a small sea side town. We had brunch there and then visited the Natural Bridges state park, again to see millions of pelicans. The park is famous for its sunset views where, at the right time of the year, the sunrays pass through the natural cavity created by a rock in the ocean. It’s picturesque! We planned to go to the Mystery spot, but again, the day was sold out. I have been there before and the illusion of defying gravity is superb! Worth a visit.
About 40 miles south from San Jose, is a Hanuman temple situated in the woods. It literally in the middle of nowhere. This place is super quiet and perfect to sit, meditate and introspect yourself. Whenever I go here, I find peace. Away from the city, away from the mundane fast pace of the life, away from human civilization, this place is perfect to sit, relax, close your eyes and find inner peace!