/ It’s been a couple of weeks since my husband and I came home from our wonderful vacation in California. It was my first trip to the United States and it was our very first experience staying in an Airbnb apartment rather than a hotel, and certainly not the last time we do that! We lived in the northern part of Oakland, more specifically the Lakeshore area. I had some tips from a sweet reader to where it would be nice to live in Oakland, and one of her tips was that we were to settle as close to Lake Merrit as possible.

Oakland is well known for its diversity, and unfortunately there are some areas that are known for having a rather tough environment where it may not be as safe to stay as a tourist. Of course we would like to avoid that. Nevertheless, the part of Oakland we lived in has really flourished, and we were told that it has become a hip district like New York’s Brooklyn. We let us tell by one of our Uber drivers that the reason for why this part of Oakland is growing is also economically is that they have ‘cleaned up’ this part of the city. That is, bought a lot of buildings and apartments and enabled them to become more attractive to many of the local people working in San Francisco to live here. The first week of our vacation we spent exploring San Francisco and we chose to stay outside the beautiful city, both to save money, but also because ta city vacation like this can be a bit overwhelming for a whole week. It was nice to live a little outside the city so that we could recharge in peace and quiet the days we did not feel like going to SF.

Det er nu et par uger siden min kære mand og jeg kom hjem fra vores fantastiske ferie i Californien. Det var min første tur til USA, og det var vores allerførste oplevelse med at bo i en Airbnb lejlighed frem for et hotel, og bestemt ikke sidste gang vi gør dét! Vi boede i den nordlige del af Oakland, nærmere betegnet i Lakeshore-området. Jeg havde fået nogle tips af en sød læser, til hvorhenne det ville være fedt at bo i netop Oakland, og én af hendes tips var, at vi skulle bosætte os så tæt på Lake Merrit som muligt.

Oakland er ret kendt for sin diversitet, og der er desværre nogle områder som er kendt for, at have et lidt hårdt miljø, hvor det måske ikke er så sikkert at opholde sig som turist. Det ville vi naturligvis gerne undgå. Ikke desto mindre er den del af Oakland vi boede i virkelig blomstret op, og vi har ladet os fortælle, at det ligefrem er blevet en hip bydel på højde med New York’s Brooklyn. Vi lod os fortælle af én af vores Uber-chauffører, at grunden til denne del af Oakland er i vækst også rent økonomisk er, at man har ‘ryddet op’ i by-delen. Dvs. opkøbt en masse bygninger og lejligheder og sat dem i stand, sådan at det er blevet mere attraktivt for mange af de lokale, som arbejder inde i San Francisco at bo her. Den første uge af vores ferie brugte vi på, at udforske San Fransisco, og vi valgte at bo udenfor den skønne by, både for at spare penge, men også fordi at storbysferie kan være lidt overvældende så længe af gangen. Det var rart at bo lidt udenfor byen, så vi kunne genoplade i ro og fred, de dage vi ikke orkede at tage turen ind til SF.

/ The Lakeshore area. As I said, I was recommended to live as close to Lake Merrit as possible. We lived close to the Grand Lake Theater, and in this area there are just sooo many nice little shops and restaurants. We spent a couple of days just strolling around here, enjoying the lovely weather and eating delicious food. Also be sure to go for a run or just a walk around Lake Merrit. It’s simply so beautiful there! There are a lot of people who rent Airbnb’s in this area, but there are also good handful hotels.

Public transport to San Francisco from Oakland. We lived half an hour (walking) from the BART station (The Bay Area metro system). We typically hopped on the metro at 12th street in Oakland, and then we mostly went off at Powell in San Francisco. It takes about 20 minutes. Then you get up to Union Square, which is the ultimate tourist spot. Just go here really – then you’ll find out what to see in this beautiful city! There are lots of tourist info, hop-on-hop-off buses, cable cars and shops. Some of the days we also took the ferry from Jack London Square in Oakland. For the most part we took an Uber if we were going to/from the ferry port. You can buy tickets on the ferry – just be aware of the departures. Take a folder from the ferry, because they depart a little different depending on whether it’s weekend or weekday. But if the weather is nice then this trip is so great! You sail right past both the Alcatraz Island with the infamous old prison and past the Golden Gate Bridge. And then of course, I have to mention Uber again, which I would recommend to make use of, especially when it gets dark. It works really well and it’s a great way to talk to some local people!

Lakeshore området. Som sagt, så blev jeg tippet om, at bo så tæt på Lake Merrit som muligt. Vi boede tæt på Grand Lake Theater, og i hele dette område ligger der simpelthen så mange fine små butikker og restauranter. Vi brugte et par dage på bare at slentre rundt her, nyde det dejlige vejr og spise lækker mad. Sørg for også at gå eller løb en tur rundt om Lake Merrit. Der er simpelthen så smukt og hyggeligt! Der er rigtig mange der udlejer Airbnb’s i dette område, men der ligger også en god håndfuld hoteller.

Offentlig transport til San Francisco fra Oakland. Vi boede en halv times gang fra BART-stationen (metrosystemet i The Bay Area). Vi stod gerne på på 12th street i Oakland, og så stod vi for det meste af ved Powell inde i San Francisco. Det tager ca. 20 minutter. Så kommer du direkte op på Union Square, som er det ultimative turist spot. Tag derind – så finder du ud af hvad du skal se i denne smukke by! Der er masser af turistinfo, hop-on-hop-off busser, sporvognene og butikker. Nogle af dagene tog vi også færgen fra Jack London Square i Oakland. For det meste tog vi en Uber hvis vi skulle til/fra færgelejet. Du kan købe billetter på færgen – du skal blot være opmærksom på afgangene. Tag evt. en folder med fra færgen, for de sejler lidt forskelligt afhængigt af om det er weekend eller hverdag. Men hvis vejret er godt så er denne tur virkelig hyggelig! Du sejler lige forbi både Alcatraz øen med det berygtede gamle fængsel og forbi Golden Gate broen. Og så er der naturligvis igen Uber, som jeg vil anbefale dig at gøre brug af, især om aftenen. Det fungerer virkelig godt, og det er en god måde at komme i snak med nogle lokale på!

/ What we saw in San Francisco. There are of course all the popular tourist attractions: Pier 39 and the entire Fisherman’s Wharf area, Chinatown, Union Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. We did not reach Alcatraz but this is also an experience – just make sure to book tickets in good time BEFORE you are in The States. They are almost sold out all the time when you are there, but if you want, you can queue for cancellation tickets at Pier 41. I think it’s around 7 in the morning they are being put up for sale, but we simply did not manage to get up tha early, haha! There are lots of other things to see though. My favourite was probably the Haight Ashbury area. This was where Summer Of Love took place in the late 60’s, and I have always been very fascinated by this time. When you go here it’s like landing in a time pocket from then! Yerba Buena Gardens inside of Union Square (this was where my husband proposed to me!) is also worth a visit. It’s a nice park in the middle of the city where you can sit and enjoy something cold to drink or maybe have a picnic on the lawn.

The weather in San Francisco and Oakland. We were in SF in late May and temperatures fluctuated a lot. For the most part, the weather in Oakland was much more sunny and hot than in San Francisco. It could be 23 degrees and not a cloud in the sky when we left home, and maybe only 17 degrees in SF, and it was also foggy for a few days. So always have an extra sweater with you, generally just make sure you have clothes for multiple layers! Especially if you are going by ferry to/from Oakland or if you are going with a tour bus over the Golden Gate. It’s really windy like crazy on that trip, haha!

Things to be aware of. Now it was my first trip to the United States, and one of the things that surprised me the most were the many homeless people. They are both in SF and in Oakland. You get used to it quickly, but it may be somewhat of a culture shock for some (including myself). We also ended up by accident in the infamous Tenderloin neighborhood within SF, and the neighborhood is placed on a street next to the tourist area of ​​Union Square, so we did not even think about where we went – we just strolled around. Suddenly we found ourselves in this area, which houses 3 lodges for homeless people. It was in the middle of the day, so it was fine – but I dont think you should stay in this area after dark, because it was a bit overwhelming. In general – take your precautions and stay away from the deserted areas, especially in the evening. Dont go where there are no other people when darkness falls. But on the other hand – dont be afraid either! We felt safe for most of the time, and as I said, just think about what you’re doing and where you are heading, as you always have to when you are on holiday in a new place. I have anxiety and felt like I had to push myself a lot during this vacation, which was only a good thing! Things may seem scary sometime, and then they turn out to be perfectly safe.

There were some tips from me to you – I’ve probably forgotten something, or maybe there are more of you sitting out there who have other tips. I love San Francisco and could really imagine going back sometime. Anyway, hope you could use my tips!

Det så vi i San Francisco. Der er selvfølgelig alle de populære turistattraktioner: Pier 39 og hele Fisherman’s Wharf området, Chinatown, Union Square, Golden Gate broen og Golden Gate Park. Vi nåede ikke til Alcatraz men dette er også en oplevelse – bare sørg for at booke billetter i god tid INDEN du rejser. De er stort set hele tiden udsolgt når først du er fremme, men hvis du vil kan du stille dig i kø til afbestillings-billetter ved Pier 41. Mener det er kl. 7 om morgenen de bliver sat til salg, men vi orkede det simpelthen ikke. Der er masser af andre ting at se! Min favorit var nok Haight Ashbury området. Det var her Summer Of Love foregik sidst i 60’erne, og jeg har altid været meget fascineret af denne tid. Når man går her er det som at lande i en tidslomme fra dengang! Yerba Buena Gardens inde ved Union Square (det var her min mand friede til mig!) er også et besøg værd. Det er en hyggelig park midt i byen, hvor man kan sidde og nyde noget koldt at drikke eller måske holde en lille picnic på græsplænen.

Vejret i San Francisco og Oakland. Vi var afsted sidst i maj måned, og temperaturerne svingede meget. For det meste var vejret i Oakland meget mere solrigt og varmt end inde i San Francisco. Det kunne godt være 23 grader og skyfrit når vi tog afsted hjemmefra, og så måske kun 17 grader inde i SF, og det var også tåget nogle dage. Så hav altid en ekstra trøje med, generelt bare sørg for, at du har tøj til flere lag! Især hvis du skal med færgen til/fra Oakland eller hvis du skal med en tourbus over Golden Gate. Det blæser virkelig helt vanvittigt på den tur, haha!

Det skal du være opmærksom på. Nu var det min første tur til USA, og én af de ting der overraskede mig mest, var de mange hjemløse. De er både i SF og i Oakland. Du vænner dig hurtigt til det, men det kan godt være noget af et kulturchok for nogle. Vi endte også ved et uheld i det berygtede Tenderloin kvarter inde i SF, og kvarteret ligger klods op og ned af turistområdet Union Square, så vi tænkte overhovedet ikke over hvor vi gik hen – vi slentrede bare rundt. Pludselig befandt vi os i dette område, som huser 3 herberg for hjemløse. Det var midt på dagen, så det var fint nok, men jeg tror ikke man skal færdes i dette område efter mørkets frembrud, for det var altså lidt overvældende. Generelt – tage dine forholdsregler og hold dig fra de øde områder, især om aftenen. Lad være med at gå der hvor der ikke går andre folk når mørket først er brudt frem. Men på den anden side – lad være med at være bange! Vi følte os trygge det meste af tiden, man skal som sagt bare tænke sig lidt om, som man altid skal når man er på ferie et nyt sted. Jeg lider af angst, og jeg skulle virkelig presse mig selv mange gange på denne tur. Men det er kun godt! Nogle gange virker ting måske farlige ved første øjekast, men så finder man ud af det faktisk er ganske ufarligt, og dén erfaring er guld værd!

Det var lidt tips herfra – jeg har sikkert glemt noget, eller måske er der flere af jer der sidder derude som har andre tips. Jeg elsker San Francisco og kunne virkelig godt forestille mig at tage tilbage engang. Anyway, håber I kunne bruge mine tips til noget!

 

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