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Monday, May 22, 2017

California, here we come! Part Two

The next part of our trip was a visit to San Francisco and then a drive south to the Paso Robles wine country.

For my nephew, Rico, and great-nephew, Muriel, this was the first time they experienced the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Most people probably don't know this, but one of the builders of the bridge was the Swiss-American structural engineer, Othmar Amman, who was also responsible for the design of the George Washington Bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the Bayonne Bridge, and the construction of the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City.

A different Swiss is responsible for the design of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in downtown San Francisco. Mario Botta, from the south of Switzerland, is known for his  fascinating public and private buildings all over the world.

In fact, quite a few Swiss people made their mark in California, one of them being John Sutter (original name Johann August Suter), 19th century settler and colonizer of California. He fled from bankruptcy and financial collapse, leaving his wife and children in Switzerland, and tried to start a new life in California. After gold was discovered on his land, a turbulent personal and public history developed, which ultimately led to his ruin. More about him here:

I love the mixture of modern and old architecture in San Francisco, a Romanesque church in front of a ultra-modern building. Somehow, the old and the new coexist in peace here.

Onward: After letting the impressions of this magnificent city sink in, we drove south toward Paso Robles, the wine country, and the James Dean crash site memorial (the latter, a first for me too!). Stay tuned!


  1. I love the juxtaposition of the old and the new. I have only been to San Francisco once but I loved it! You certainly showed your guests a good time.

    1. Thanks, Darlene. Yes, everybody had a great time. I was very happy about that. The first time I saw San Francisco many years ago, it reminded me of a European city and I guess that's one of the reasons I love it, too.