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Day 160-204, 18Dec08 – 31Jan09: San Francisco. Part1: a tour of SF

January 31, 2009 by ,  
Filed under Trip reports, North America, USA, California

Ivana cycling the Golden gate BridgeIt has been a long time between updates, but this week we will be catching up a bit, so you can see where we have been this year, what happened with my knee and much more!

We spent about 6 weeks in and around San Francisco, a wonderful city in many ways. I will write a few posts about this as I want to share many pictures, so we will be hopping back and forth in time a bit 🙂

SF: entering and viewing the city

After crossing the Golden Gate we stuck to the shoreline, not only to avoid the heavy traffic, but also the steep hills! Yes, it is true: due to the fact that some smart city planner placed the standard grid-model on top of a hilly place, some of the roads are incredibly steep, a few more than 30%! Still the place is bicycle friendly, with bike lanes and-routes and off the main roads, the traffic is much more relaxed and there are many cyclists.

Kowalski & Golden gate Bridge Cyclist in SF

Touring SF

We had met our new host Mitch at a CouchSurfing meeting and he not only offered us a place to stay, but also took us on some city tours, so we could get an idea of the place. As he is a great photographer, we also finally got some images of ourselves!

Lombard Street, San Francisco Streetcar in San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco and Market street Alcatraz and a streetcar: SF


Views from the Twin Peaks (we summited :), the old but still running Streetcars and the famous Lombard Street, though it is not the curviest street nor the steepest, it is fun to go down it. We spent the evening playing ‘Rockband’ with Mitch, which was fun 🙂

Us and SFIvana & downtown SF

Us in SF (3) Lombard Street, San Francisco (2)


Later, in January, we spent some more time with Mitch. We drank Belgian beers, ate in Chinatown, walked to his friends house Downtown and we had some great ‘mate’ on one of the western beaches before dinner in a Burmese restaurant. SF is great, it is small enough to be able to cycle around, but every neighbourhood is different and there are many nice places to hang out or relax.

Golden Gate from West SFDownTown SF

Mate on the beach at sunsetSunset on SF beach

Culture & science

We also stayed a few days with Nate & Kim, who lived quite close to Mitch, also in the Latino-flavoured lively Mission District. Besides taking us to one of the best Mexican restaurants, we also took advantage of the free museum day in SF, visiting the small Yerba Buena, the huge MOMA and the tiny Cartoon Museum before heading back on the bus.

Harry and Ivana at the Yerba Buena MuseumLooking down at visitors in MOMA

MOMA roof, SFMOMA, SFIvana in MOMA, SF

Looking up at visitors in MOMA (2)Looking up at visitors in MOMA (3)


Ivana managed to get into the new Academy of Science Museum on the free Wednesday (otherwise $25), but when I arrived an hour later after seeing the doctor, the line was so long that it was no use. She enjoyed it a lot and will post pictures on her blog soon.

We also spent time (drinking Belgian beers) in Little Italy, Japan town, Chinatown and Bernal Heights; every part has its own culture and diversity of people and places, while being completely free of strip-malls and McDonalds and such, SF is a good as a US city gets.

Tomorrow, in the next part: pain, ethics and doctors, civil rights and microcredits!

1000 Americans: Fiona & Jeremy, Kiva, San Francisco

January 28, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Fiona andJeremy

Fiona is Kiva’s Public Relations Director, responsible for Kiva’s exposure & communication. She lives with Kiva’s Technology Director Jeremy and together they have sacrificed much time, money and effort to get Kiva up and running, being two of the first employees.

They both love to travel the world when possible and have seen the need for and success of microcredit with their own eyes.

Read more about Kiva and how you can support them, here on our blog.

1000 Americans: Jeremy Frazao & Matt Flannery, Kiva, San Francisco

January 28, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Jeremy and Matt, KIva

Jeremy (Technology Director of Kiva) was one of the first people to work for Kiva after Matt  (CEO of Kiva) had started the company in 2005.

Of course they both did not know then that it would mean long hours with no pay, but due to dedication of the first key people like them, Kiva survived and is now one of the most praised companies in the US, facilitating microcredit lending to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Read more about Kiva and how you can support them, here on our blog.

1000 Americans: Dr Hal Rosenberg, San Francisco

January 22, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Dr. Hal Rosenburg

Dr Hal Rosenberg is a well-known Chiropractor in SF. having worked on the medical staff of the USA Triathlon Team.

It takes a sportsman to help one and though I sometimes felt he was trying to kill me, the crunching of the back and neck helped 🙂

1000 Americans: Adriana, San Francisco

January 16, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Adriana Adriana was born in Colombia and her heart is still divided between there and San Francisco. She is a nanny and enjoys cooking wonderful meals, spending time with her friends, enjoying life and promoting peace… And of course her boyfriend Gerard 🙂

1000 Americans: Kim & Nate, San Francisco

January 15, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Kim and Nate

Nate & Kim enjoy life, and are avid Couchsurfers, having hosted dozens of travellers. Kim is also known as DJ Kimpo, spinning the nights away…

Currently they are on a round the world trip, read their reports and see their images on

The photo above was taken in the Yerba Buena Museum, one of the few museums they took us to.

1000 Americans: Gerard, San Francisco

January 13, 2009 by ,  
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Gerard, by Mitch Aidelbaum

Gerard is one of the many ‘import-Americans’, being born and raised in The Netherlands. As many expats in SF, he works in IT, but uses his time off to enjoy the wonders of San Francisco and around as well as his girlfriend Adriana.

Photo by Mitch Aidelbaum, editing by me 🙂

1000 Americans: Jessica & Mikelanjelo, Oakland

January 3, 2009 by ,  
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Jessica and Mikelanjelo Mikelanjelo contacted us through our form on the site and offered us a place to stay with his girlfriend Jessica and their friends in Oakland.

He is a bicycle advocate, has even worked as a bike courier in Honolulu and has done several bicycle tours across the US. They are now planning their next trip, around the world on a bike!

He is the grandson of famous pilot Max Conrad (The Flying Grandfather), who might still have the Guinness Record for most solo-miles flown as well as many others

1000 Americans: Nicole Dreon, Truckee

January 3, 2009 by ,  
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Nicole Dreon, photographer Nicole –Colie for friends- Dreon has been working behind the scenes for the sports TV channel ESPN for a long time, but has done quite a bit of sporting herself, still living near Ski and Snowboard resorts in Lake Tahoe.

She is one of the few persons in the world that has skied in Uganda and besides being an overall great person, she is a great photographer as well, posing in front of one of her images.

1000 Americans: Alison Levine, San Francisco

January 3, 2009 by ,  
Filed under 1000 Americans

Alison Levine Alison is a well sought-after public speaker as she combines her extensive business career with a love for adventure. She has climbed the 7 summits, hiked unsupported to the South Pole, and has done a million things more as you can read on her website

I have known Ali for 10 years, we only met 4 times, but every time was on a different continent…

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