My 1st vacation to San Francisco was in 1985 with a friend of mine. This trip started in Amsterdam, Netherlands where we took a flight to New York. With only a few bucks in our pockets we took the Bus to the west for six days. It was about 5 am on day 6 when we arrived with the Greyhound at Mission Street. We were dog tired and had no idea where to go. Without a map we started heading west and somehow reached Alamo Square by sunrise. I still do remember how cold it was sitting there on that September morning watching and waiting for the day to begin. Later we walked to find a place to sleep and stayed in a cheap Motel for 3 days. We hitchhiked to L.A. later on and took the Grayhound back to N.Y.
The 2nd visit to San Francisco was in 1987. This time I flew to Toronto with a Canadian friend who studied in Germany, bought a Suzuki Motorcycle and made a trip of my own. On my way along the Trans-Canada Hwy I learned for 3 days how wet rain can be. So I changed my destination, crossed the border at International Falls
and reached the cost in Portland a week later. My trip along the great coast south took me finally to San Francisco where I stayed one day. I had no bad experience on my trip, everyone I met was very nice and friendly.
The 3rd visit to San Francisco was in October 1989. Another friend of mine and I reached San Francisco by plane. With a small Toyota from Alamo we took Hwy 1 south, passing through Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and L.A. We passed the places where I stood for hours trying to get a lift 4 years before. The regular spots like Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Yosemite followed and nearly completed our vacation. We planned to stay another 4 days in San Francisco before flying back home. The first night we stayed in a Motel in Corte Madera when there was the Loma Prieta Earthquake. We where save on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. The damage was bad at the Oakland Bay Bridge and Marina district. The 3rd and 4th night we felt save to stay in North Beach at The Washington Square Inn. It was interesting to see how the people we got to know deal with the situation. The people where having a party in the crowded bars in North Beach. We all survived the earthquake this time.
The 4th trip was in December 2003 from 13th to 21st. I´ll be over again for 10 days by the end of the year.