Every year I get the call - an internal clock pulling me towards the sea!
This year my eyes are on the ritzy Basque country of Biarritz.
Did you know that it has the reputation of being the California of Europe? My bohemian/scientific mind wants to put this statement to the test, hence my exposé on a 3 full day mini break to San Francisco.
Say Yes to the Market
The main market is at the end of Market street in the historical ferry building. Eat your heart out and taste away. Local organic cherries, nectarines, white peaches, plums and apricots were top features. Be sure to check out hot pepper bun and matcha ginger white chocolate cookie at Craftmen and Wolves contemporary patisserie stand and artichokes and mesclun in bloom next to the Mexican brunch stall with the long lineup. Best coffee in my books goes to Sightglass Coffee yet feel free to challenge me on this! Missed the Saturday market? I hear they pop up throughout the week at various places. I discovered a mini version at Fort Mason the next day. If you go - hit the historic veg resto Greens while you are there.
As an East coaster, I am always floored by the extravert quality and kindness found in the West. San Francisco locals are curious and eager to chat - don't be afraid to show your map and answer if someone asks you where you are from. Take the public bus and chances are that you will be smitten by friendly bus drivers and riders- $2.50 a pop with a transfer that lasts 1 to 4 hours depending on your luck beats the one time $7 trolley fee.
Head out to Presidio Park to hike Bay Ridge Park Trail, Coastal Path and for a grand finale - Battery to Bluff Trail. Your senses will be caressed with aromas of Eucalyptus, Pome, Cypress, Lilies, Echium as well as sounds and sights of birds and roaring coastlines. Discover hidden beaches and meditate alongside the magical pacific. End at the Cliff House to relax and imagine what it was like in 1914.
Join the Golden Gate Whale naturalist who will guide you towards sprouts and sea parties featuring whales, seals, sea lions, purposes, diving pelicans and packs of Comorans.
Bike through Chrissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge. Do take the long run out to Sausalito, Mill town, and Tiburon. Enjoy breathtaking coastline views, country scenes, apparently the tallest trees in the world & unique houses. More down hill than up hill and the ferry ride back seals the deal.
Walk up Telegraph hill to discover the most enchanting bohemian gardens, a bee hive and design delights.
Up next part 2: Biarritz