in San Francisco
For Daniel and San Francisco, it was love at first sight! Daniel has been a Flight Attendant with SWISS since 2016, and so is regularly able to visit his favourite city. "Every approach gives me a feeling of coming home!" SWISS flies to San Francisco (SFO) from Zurich (ZRH) twice a day.
The metropolis is on the west coast of California and, thanks to the reliable weather is good to visit all year round. A visit in autumn is highly recommended, because it can be quite cool and foggy in summer. As well as its most famous landmark – the Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco has many other highlights. The steep streets with the historic trams, numerous piers and the typical Victorian houses.
There's a good reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. At Cafe Eight AM, you can celebrate breakfast fittingly from 7 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. Whether sweet or savoury, whatever your preference, you'll be spoilt for choice. Daniel quite openly states his for the former. His favourites here are the sweet crêpes and the Nutella and granola parfait with yoghurt, granola, fresh fruit and – naturally – plenty of Nutella. "It has everything you need for a fabulous start to the day," enthuses Daniel.
About a 20-minute walk from Cafe Eight AM is Telegraph Hill, one of the several dozen hills that are such a typical feature of the San Francisco cityscape. "Fortunately I had a big breakfast, because the walk up is quite tiring!" quips Daniel. At the highest point of Telegraph Hill is Coit Tower, a 64-meter-high lookout tower. If you manage to climb the more than 500 steps up, you'll be rewarded by fabulous views of the surrounding city. "In clear weather, like today, you can see right across the bay to Sausalito, Berkeley and Oakland. Amazing!" sums up Daniel.
Then it's on to China Town, and Daniel gets himself a coffee-to-go from Cafe Trieste. As the café is on the outskirts of Little Italy, the coffee is the genuine Italian variety. Daniel loves the slightly old-fashioned, charming ambience. "The Trieste is a genuine highlight, and a far cry from the major coffee-shop chains that usually dominate! Be warned, though, that they only take cash!" Coffee in hand, he strolls leisurely down the suburb of China Town – a paradise for collectors of bits and pieces and all kinds of souvenirs. On every street corner, you'll see bright and cheerful graffiti and food stands selling authentic Cantonese food. "It's a complete clash of cultures – you suddenly feel as if you're in the middle of China! Only the Cable Car reminds you that you're still in San Francisco."
From China Town it's just a hop and a skip on foot to Pier 17, also known as the Pier of Switzerland as it is home to the Swiss General Consulate and a number of other renowned Swiss companies. It also has the Exploratorium museum of science: "A good idea for rainy days – the hands-on experiments are very exciting!" From the Pier you can admire Bay Bridge, little sister to the Golden Gate Bridge.
And talking of the Golden Gate Bridge– whenever Daniel mentions San Francisco's most famous landmark, his eyes start to shine. "No matter how long I'm here for, I am always drawn to this bridge. Whether on foot, on a bike or by car, I never fail to be amazed by this architectural masterpiece! Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the seven architectural wonders of the modern world?" The classic bike tour from San Francisco to Sausalito, which is recommended in all the guide books, is always a safe bet, but Daniel recommends doing it the other way round. He travels there by taxi to the lookout point Battery Spencer. "In good weather, the view from here is simply breathtaking! And even if it's cloudy, you can see the bridge pillars soaring up through the fog."
Back in the city, there's just enough time to see Torpedo Wharf, which according to Daniel is one of the best spots for souvenir photos with the bridge in the background. "With a little luck, you might also be able to watch the whales in San Francisco Bay, enjoying themselves in the water between the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island".
Just in time for the sunset, Daniel is drawn to another lookout point, this time to Cityscapes , a bar on the 46th floor. Here at 150 metres above the ground, the sun setting over the Golden Gate and the sight of lights going on all around the city create a truly unique atmosphere. "A drink tastes twice as good up here!"
And if you then find yourself feeling hungry, Daniel recommends the burgers at Roam Artisan."There's plenty here for burger fans: classics made from beef or chicken, vegetarian or unusual ones made from elk. And to go with them, the ultra-delicious fries or the zucchini and onion haystack!" A suitable ending to an eventful day.