Monday, October 6, 2014

Day Around the Bay #3: Russian Hill

In my latest Day Around the Bay escapades, I took on Russian Hill. And by hill, THEY ARE NOT JOKING!!! I probably burned off more calories than I consumed in lattes that morning after running up that hill!

Russian Hill is a neighborhood of San Francisco, California, in the United States. It is one of San Francisco's 49 hills, and one of its original "Seven Hills". The "Seven Hills of San Francisco" typically refers to: Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Rincon Hill, Mount Sutro, Twin Peaks and Mount Davidson. My interest has been piqued, I'll have to visit all of them!

According to Wikipedia,"Russian Hill is directly to the north (and slightly downhill) from Nob Hill, to the south (uphill) from Fisherman's Wharf, and to the west of the North Beach neighborhood. The Hill is bordered on its west side by parts of the neighborhoods of Cow Hollow and the Marina District."
I started with a run down to Fisherman's Wharf and then hiked up the hill on Hyde street. Let me just tell you...my thighs and buttocks were on FIRE after walking/sort of running up that hill! I was sweating and it wasn't even hot outside! Yikes!  But the torture was worth it when I saw this view....

The view on top of Lombard Street. I've never driven down it, but I've walked down the stairs. If I lived there, I would be SO TIRED of tourists driving down my street! I mean, I get it, but one weekend recently it was completely shut off from car traffic (unless you lived there) just so neighbors could have a weekend with no cars going down it!

Just LOOK at that view of the bay!!

As a treat to myself for running and then walking up that hill, I sought out Swensen's ice cream shop on the corner of Hyde and Union. The place is TINY! Opening in 1948, this location has created more than 180 different flavors of ice cream. But I'm a sucker and really just love mint chocolate chip and chocolate together, so that's what I got!

This was the SMALL size!!! I can't image what the large size looked like!!!!

After I polished off that beauty, I walked down the hill to the Holy  Trinity Cathedral. According to their website, it opened in 1857 and is the oldest Orthodox parish in the contiguous United States.

The building was just beautiful!

I was looking at my google map, and saw a dot that said Octagon House. Well, duh I had to go check it out! Not every day you see an octagon shaped house!

This beauty is called the McElroy Octagon house and was built in 1861 and is now San Francisco Landmark #17

Walking in the neighborhood I saw serveral styles of beautiful homes.

This row of beautiful homes reminded me of the years I spent living in Germany as a child. 

Down the street a bit was The Candy Store.

I would have gone in, but the place was packed. And I figured I had consumed enough calories already after that ice cream! But everything was so pretty and cute!

I continued my hike and I wanted to get to the tippy top. With a view like this, how could you not?! Hello Alcatraz in the distance (read about when I visited here)!

Found a sign that actually said Russian Hill, it was almost overtaken by this shrubbery.

A small park at the top of the hill on Vallejo Street there is a small plaque and memorial placed by the Russian Government is dedicated to the original Russian cemetery that is the neighborhood's namesake.
And then I found this little gem.

A tiny patch of green grass where locals apparently sunbathe and have stunning views of the water (this is Pier 27 where cruise ships dock)

And then on the other side, there are views of the Bay Bridge

And then this stunning view of the financial district. 

And then I completed the day by visiting Ina Coolbrith Park (at the intersection of Taylor and Vallejo streets). It has these cool, steep steep steps lined with beautiful bright trees and plenty of park benches for you to look over the city.  This was dedicated back in 1911, and it feels really secluded and like you're in a secret garden!  All in all, a wonderful day in my bay!

Want to see my other adventures?! Here are other Days Around the Bays:
Day Around the Bay #1: North Beach and Coit Tower
Day Around the Bay #2: Fisherman's Wharf

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