Sometimes a Direct Flight Is a Missed Opportunity

If there is one thing I recently learned, it is that you never know what America has in store for you to explore. San Francisco is one of those American gems that charmed me immediately. I had a half-day layover last Saturday as I was flying back to school in New Mexico. Since my flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco arrived quite early in the morning, I decided to make a quick visit to the downtown area of the city.

Here are some photos I took (click on any picture to enlarge it to full size):

I took the BART train from the airport station to Powell station. This ride took me right to the heart of downtown San Francisco, where the streets are crowded with malls, retail stores, restaurants and cafes…

BART train in San Francisco San Francisco public transport map

The Powell station was underground, so it was a really awesome moment as I walked up towards the streets – I was immediately captivated by the varied architecture of the lofty buildings. These are some of my favorite ones:

It was nice to see the quiet version of San Francisco at 7 am and just another hour later, the opposite version of it, as the city wakes up. People started to crowd the sidewalks, cars and buses to fill up the streets.

San Fran in the morning San Fran in the afternoon

Most of my visit entails merely walking around, but that was more than enough because this part of the city is so unique.

Views of San Francisco Views of San Francisco

Views of San Francisco Views of San Francisco

I sat down at a Starbucks café to enjoy a latte while watching crowds of people walk by.

Starbucks latte

In the afternoon, I went back to the airport to catch my 3 pm flight back to Albuquerque. After the plane landed, I was able to catch this awesome view of the skyline at dusk. What a scene to conclude my eventful trip!

View from an airplane Sunset from the airplane


  1. Congratulations on discovering one of the great cities of the world . truly a gem . I had a 10 hour layover in Mexico City many years ago . I decided to visit the pyramids 40 miles to the northeast . I stashed my luggage and walked for 25 minutes to leave the airport property . I then hailed an unlicensed taxi and hired him and his beat-up VW bug for the 10 hours . Off we went to the pyramids ; we had a great time ! The only problem was that the traffic going back into the city was grid locked and I missed my flight to Honduras . I got one the next day . But the day at the pyramids was well worth it !

  2. I enjoyed this entry and the pictures! Next time I have a layover I’ll probably get out and explore the area a little. Thanks for the inspiration.

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