It is my sixth time that I am visiting Unites States and have been to San Francisco several times on each of my trip. Somehow, the Golden Gate Park was never in my destination. But last week, I managed to spend a Sunday, hiking in the beautiful Golden Gate park that lie amidst the bustling city.

As usual, I started very early in the morning to catch the first Caltrain from Hillsdale to San Francisco. My initial plan was to roam around the market streets and China town and take lots of photographs. Here’s a photo that I took from the Pier 14. You can see some of the well known landmarks here: The Transamerica Pyramid, Ferry Building and the Market street skylines.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a very sunny day and the light was very harsh as you can see in the above photo. So I changed my plan to visit the Golden gate park and return to the market street in the evening for the sunset.

As a popular opinion, The best way to explore a city is to walk. If the city is too big to walk, then the second best way is the public transits, in my opinion. So, I bought a day pass from the SFO Railway museum which is located just opposite to the Ferry building. It costs $17 (as of April-2015) and you can use it to board all Muni transport (Buses, Rail and Cable car). I boarded a bus from the Market Street to Golden Gate park which took around 50 mins to reach.

I started my hike from the north east corner of the Golden Gate park. My first stop is the Conservatory of Flowers center, a domed building that houses flowers and plants from around the world. You need to buy tickets to get in. Photography is allowed and no extra fee for the cameras. I went in and managed to get couple of good photos.

The light was low since its a closed structure but in some places, the light was well diffused due to the see-through roof that was made to let in enough light for the plants to survive. Here’s a nice bokeh I took inside that building.

After spending half an hour in the conservatory, I got out and continued my hiking towards the western end of the park. Given it was Sunday, the park was flocking with crowd of people. But once you take the off route and go inside the park, you should find some lone time.

An hour of hiking led me to the Botanical Garden. Again, you need to get a ticket to get in. At the entrance, they asked me whether I was living in San Francisco or not. I guess, it was free entrance for a San Francisco citizen. Otherwise, need to get $7 ticket. Photography is allowed and no additional fee for cameras (I believe charging extra for cameras is only followed in India, because I hardly see this custom in any of the US attracttions).

Since it’s the start of the Spring time, the garden was filled with colorful flowers everywhere. Here are couple of photographs that I took in the botanical garden.

This one is my favorite. Took this under a shade of a tree. The sunlight was only falling on the flower and rest of the areas were dark. Loved the result.

A Black rose,

After spending almost all the afternoon, I was totally exhausted. So had to cancel my plans to return to market streets for the sunset. Took the train to catch my 7’O clock Caltrain. While returning, managed to take this one:

Wasn’t that impressive when I shot this in color but after converting this to monochrome, it has become a beauty.

With that, my Sunday was over. But need to go back to the Market Street and China town. May be another weekend.