- Population: 750,000
Resting on 40 hills at the tip of a narrown peninsula, San Francisco
is bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by San Francisco
Bay, one of the largest land-locked harbours in the world. the city's history
began with the early Portuguese,English and Spanish explorers who sailed
into the bay. In 1775 a Spanish ship dropped anchor on 28 March 1776. A
mission site was selected and dedicated to St Francis of Assis.
In 1849 gold was discovered in California. As the news spread around the
world, a torrent of people and ships descended on the city. By the next
year 6,000 miners were digging and San Francisco was a wild tent city of
2,000 rough, tough transients.
Some far-sighted businessmen realised that fortunes could be made in
San Francisco as well as in the gold camps. Mercantile establishments,
small industries and the shipping of goods to the Orient prospered.
||Then on 18 April 1906 struck the great earthquake and fire. Raging
unchecked for three days, the fire wiped out the entire business area and
burned out 497 blocks - the heart of the city. Losses amounted to 500 lives
and $350 million. the city started rebuilding before ashes cooled. by 1915,
when the city celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal, reconstruction
was nearly complete.
San Francisco leads the cities of the west in insurance and investment,
but tourism is now its most important industry. San Francisco is such a
beautiful, exciting city, it is easy to understand Rudyard Kipling's lament
- "San Francisco has only one drawback, it's hard to leave."
Places of Interest in San Francisco
for a map)
Attracting millions of visitors annually, with
its pungent smells and picturesque
sights. Along the waterfront are many fine restaurants, markets, souvenir
shops and import houses.
It's from this place that we left for Alcatraz, the famous prison.
San Francisco from the boat
Arriving at Alcatraz
With an overall length of 2735m (8,981 feet)
and main span lenght of 1280m (4,200 feet), it is one of the longest single-span
suspension bridges ever built.
the Bay Bridge
a view of the town from the Bay Bridge