Changing global mobility has seen unprecedented tourism, and consequent pressure on renowned destinations such as New York, Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Rome. In popular destinations, homelessness has been aggravated by the pressure on accommodation by tourists. For travellers in America, it seems that “the homeless” are a part of American identity and there is a perception that living on the street is accepted, and “normalised”. Nowhere is this more apparent than San-Francisco, but it doesn’t take many walks about the city, observing the homeless playing informal chess tournaments, listening to blues and jazz music, or reading classic literature, to realize that homelessness doesn’t always result from a set of simple circumstances. While travel provides a very hands-off situation that requires no moral or ethical thought on our own part, the reality of coming face to face with the homeless in real life poses something completely different.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the truly iconic structures of America. It has lost none of its Majesty over time and is a must for all travellers going to San Francisco. Cycling the Bridge can take a little as three hours or so (one way) or the whole day, depending on what you are wanting to get out of it. The actual time depends on whether you bike there any back or catch the ferry at Sausalito. There is a lot along the way that is interesting and an integral part of San Francisco’s history, making for a great day and having numerous stops only enhances the trip. The bike ride is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and so is a must do when visiting this gateway city to the United States.
I think that it is notable that over the years I have avoided the States in favour of other destinations, but somehow have found myself in San Francisco twice within the last year – and thoroughly enjoyed both times. To most people, perhaps outside of the States, it’s easy to think of all the major cities being of a similar size, each with a population in the millions. It is a bit unreal when you read the statistics, to see that compared to L.A. which has a population of about 3,800,000 and is the second largest City in U.S.A, San Francisco only has a population of 800,000 and is only the fourth largest city in California.