Didem Doğan

California trip: an introduction

What comes to your mind when they say California? Sunny days, surfers, celebrity houses, people driving fast their big cars with looking attractive with blond hair and blue eyes, shortly  an imaginary place in our heads created by Hollywood movies. 

So when we were in a fast food restaurant in San Francisco on our first night after a 15 hour flight, surrounded by Asians, we were quite surprised; in fact California is one of the places in the world with the highest number of Asian immigrants. 

Actually this state of the US only got rich recently, during the gold rush at the second half of  19th century. These lands that used to belong to ‘New Spain’ during the 16th and 17th centuries were part of It Mexico until  amid 19th century and still today you will notice how vivid is Hispanic culture. 

When you’re planning your trip to California consider arriving in San Francisco and departing from Los Angeles, or vice-versa. In San Francisco you will not need a car; if you stay in Union Square area you will be right at the centre and use easily the public transportation, the tram and the bus, to see the city: Golden Gate Park, Soho, passing the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, the museums, etc. 

Here is a cool way to travel in California: take the Amtrak train, the one that comes from Seattle and goes to the South passing by Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego. This two floor train moves along the Pacific ocean, it is slow but you will get some views that is not possible to watch from a car or a plane window. It is actually the most fun part of the trip to spend time on the train. Santa Barbara will be a place to rest and enjoy the tranquility whereas Los Angeles- where you definitely need a car- will be the most ‘stimulant’ part of your trip with seven line highways, a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Overall Californians are friendly and you get a feeling that life can be spent in a laid-back mood with bermuda shorts and slippers. 

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