From San Francisco To Yellowstone National Park - USA
America is indescribable and enchanting on its own, so we decided to bring you the two faces of the United States - the remarkable city of San Francisco and the unique nature of Yellowstone National Park.
Let`s begin with the city. Everything comes from the light. Silver, clear, it reflects from the Pacific Ocean and the wide Gulf of San Francisco and fills the city with optimism. It takes the long orange-red arc of the Golden Gate Bridge, highlights it against the azure sky and makes it an exciting, breathtaking experience.
Emphasizes the small, ornate details of Victorian houses, illuminates the spacious curves of hills that run like waves across the peninsula on which this low-rise city lies, casts shady shadows beneath pines and cypresses in lush parks, adds elegance and the nobility of office skyscrapers in the central business district, clustered around the emblematic needle of the Transamerica Pyramid.
And if it is not from the light, then some other mystical power pervades this city and makes it one of the most beloved in the world. San Francisco has already left its days as a hub for the hippie movement and the "summer of love." But the spirit of innovation, the willingness to rethink things and do things differently, remain alive.
It is no coincidence that Silicon Valley, this engine of the computer revolution, is located only fifty kilometers south of the city. To get an impression of San Francisco's ability to think differently, visit the Exploratorium, an application museum created by physicist and lecturer Frank Oppenheimer in 1969 that constantly updates, explains, and studies science, human perception, and the universe.
San Francisco is a city of exceptional museums, many housed in typical, unconventional buildings. The Local Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is giving away its riches only to its New York namesake.
Here, in the building of the Swiss architect Mario Bota, illuminated by a characteristic central cylindrical atrium, are the works of all the great artists of the 20th century. The Museum M. The H. de Young at Golden Gate Park has a new copper-lined building designed by the Duke and de Mioron Company, which also houses the "Bird's Nest" stadium in Beijing, and features an exceptional collection of American authors.
The Asian Art Museum, arguably the largest non-Asian exhibition, has been housed in a library since 1917, refurbished by Italian architect Gae Aulenti - the same one who created the Paris-based Orsay Museum from a former train station.
The fact that San Francisco is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world is evident in the quality and variety of its cuisine. With its lively market, restaurants and cafes, the refurbished Ferry Terminal on Embarcadero Waterfront is a real showcase for this passion.
The picturesque Fisherman's Wharf overlooking the bay is famous for its seafood, and behind the Chinatown's brightly painted traditional facades there are hundreds of restaurants serving one of China's largest communities outside China itself, as well as many curious visitors.
The Chinese have only been in San Francisco since the mid-19th century, but the Spaniards were the first to build a fort here almost a century earlier in the Presidio area, overlooking the Golden Gate - the narrow entrance to the magnificent natural harbor of the bay.
The charming white-tailed Mission Dolores, erected in 1776, is the oldest building in San Francisco.
American settlers gained independence from the Mexican government in 1847, just before the Gold Rush of 1849, and completely transformed San Francisco, making it a shopping center. Wealth is poured into beautiful Victorian homes, with the now-turned-museum Haas-Lilienthal House - one of the survivors of the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906 that destroyed much of the city.
San Francisco is rightly proud of its past. To get to it, hop on one of the historic trams that have cracked and creaked on its hills, pulled by under-ground cables since 1873. San Francisco carefully preserves its historic transportation system.
San Francisco cable cars are a key component of the city's unique character and the only national historic landmark that moves.
With the impossible to be mistaken "ding! ding! ding! ", announcing their arrival on both sunny and foggy days, cable trams are a return to the end of the 19th century, when they are the best transport up and down the 43 hills of the most endowed topographic city of America. Today, they still click up and down at a steady speed of 15 km/h (driven by underground cable, not by motor) their three lines make up the world's only cable tram system.
The Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason lines start from the center below the lively Union Square shopping area and ascend to the upscale Nob Hill neighborhood, one of the most elegant addresses in the city and the location of two of its most important hotels: the Ritz-Carlton, considered by many to be the best in town (and one of the best in the world), and the remarkable Fairmont.
Rebuilt in an extravagant manner after the 1906 earthquake, it is where Tony Bennett first performed "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" in 1962. The Powell-Hyde line ends at Fisherman Wharf, the famous coastal a tourist destination that still retained a fair amount of charm.
It's worth joining the crowd just to crunch some crab or fish with fried potatoes from the booths near the harbor and admire the stunning views of Alcatraz Prison - The Rock - with the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge over 3 miles "Which you can also cross for an exciting, wind-swept stroll and great views. It is not clear who decided to paint him orange, but God was good to him.
If it's Saturday, head to nearby Embarcadero and Ferry Plaza's very popular Farmers Market, the city's best and largest agricultural market. Chinatown's vibrant markets are no less remarkable, crowded with people (this is the second-largest Chinese enclave in the country), fresh vegetables and things you didn't know existed (or could be eaten). In the heart of North Beach (the most pleasant walking area), Telegraph Hill offers some of the best views of the city, especially from the top of the Coit Tower, where you can see the bay, bridges, and islands.
You will also want to walk slowly in the High Ashbury, a kind of retirement area of the hippies of the 60's. Turn up to Alta Vista Park, from where you can look at the center for a beautiful, postcard-like view of Painted ladies - a row of brightly colored Victorian houses on Steiner Street. San Francisco's architectural treasure is one of its thousands of treasures.
Curious: Makeup Ladies is a fond nickname that is used at the address of over 14,000 Victorian and Edwardian style homes in San Francisco.
When to get there: September and October are preferred. To the surprise of many visitors, the summer (June to August) is cooled by sea fog and is not warm. Winter is similar to summer but wetter.
Things to Watch: Boat trips to Alcatraz Island, home to the famously secure prison from 1934 to 1963. It's a weird, sobering experience against the backdrop of San Francisco's positive atmosphere.
Helpful Hints: Walk around, but don't cross in the red - this can get you a subpoena and a solid fine.
let's continue with Yellowstone - superb America's National Park.
Founded in 1872, the oldest national park in America (and in the world) is known most for its geothermal landmarks - remnants of its tumultuous volcanic past, which Rudyard Kipling describes as the "elevations of Hell".
Visitors flock to the Upper Geyser Basin in the southern half of the park to see 150 geysers, which, along with the bubbling 10,000 mud pools in the park, hissing crevices and hot springs rising above them, act as safety valves, releasing heat and steam below.
Yellowstone has a total of 300 geysers (about half of all geysers in the world), but of them all, the superstar is Old Faithful, who erupts sprays up to 56m in the air every 68 to 98 minutes. This is the most famous geyser in the world, synonymous with Yellowstone in the minds of people all over the world.
The Old Faithful Inn was built on this site in 1904 and is still the largest existing log building. Its create-comfort-in-the-wildest-wilderness style sets the fashion for all the big hotels in the national park system.
Unless you have booked a year in advance, you are unlikely to find a room in this simple, remarkable hotel, but at least take a peek at it to see its fabulous six-story lobby and massive four-sided fireplaces and chimneys made of 500 tonnes of volcanic rock. The food at the restaurant is not remarkable, but the views of the very close Old Faithful are. Among the park's nine properties, the more elegant Lake Yellowstone Hotel is the oldest, completed in 1891.
Geothermal curiosities are not the only thing Yellowstone has to offer: the largest of America's national parks outside of Alaska, its natural diversity and abundance of wildlife are among the largest on the planet.
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River provides some of the most breathtaking views of the park. 38 km long and up to 360 m deep, it starts with the striking Lower Falls Falls, which fall in a cascade of 93 meters (nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls) in the river below.
Bears and buffalo roam the Hayden Valley, the largest meadow in the park, along with 25 100 deer waders, 1,000 moose and 148 bird species that inhabit the park with an area of 8.8 million acres. Griffon eagles roam over their heads, and even the gray wolf of the Rocky Mountains - for which the park made every effort to destroy it in the 1930s - returned, re-settled in 1995.
Ninety-three percent of the park's visitors never diverts more than 5 km from the wilderness road, missing 1900 km of hiking trails and some of the cleanest vast expanses of America. However, if you do not have the time and/or the inclination for hiking, the Eighth-Rounded Tour, the 230-kilometer Grand Loop Road, is unsurpassed, connected to each of the park's five entrances and reveals all the major attractions.
Yellowstone National Park: in northwestern Wyoming. There are 5 entrances located along the northern, eastern, southern and western boundaries.
When: Most roads in the park are only open from early May to early November; the northeast entrance remains open year-round.
Best time: May to mid-June, September to mid-October (crowds are highest in July-August); the snowy winter months can be magical (2 hotels in the park remain open) and the conditions for cross-country skiing are exceptional.