Those of you, who have been following my stories for a while, may remember, that – over the years – I have done a number of trips, to visit Lisa and Harry in California. With the last trip now about two years ago, we decided, that it was about time for another trip. So I saw myself flying over from Frankfurt to Oakland on April 30th.
I got into Oakland in the evening of the 30th and was warmly welcomed. Over a light dinner there were plenty of things, to catch up on.
For May 1st the plan was, to have a closer look at Oakland – a city usually overlooked, as people head out across the bay to San Francisco.
We drove down to Lake Merrit, where we got started with a walk around the lake, before having a stop at Cathedral of Light, to then – after a coffee stop – continue towards Broadway and the central business district. We soon left Broadway again, to get a closer look at the Fox Theater, from where we followed along Telegraph Avenue and eventually reached the “Cathedral Building” and as such made it back to Broadway.
After a quick stop at the town hall we continued to Swan’s Market for a quick pre-lunch oyster snack; lunch itself turned out Korean in a restaurant further down the street.
After lunch we continued towards Jack London square, did check out the mall and had a look at Jack London’s historic cabin. Before making it back home, we hit a tasting room of a winery right at the ferry terminal. Time for some California classics: buttery Chardonnay and a good Zin or two 😉
On Wednesday we stayed local again, making it to Oakland’s neighbor city – Berkeley. I did not take any photos today, so you will have to do without those.
We started the day with a walk around Berkeley’s Aquatic Park; a really nice park, right at the water, complete with a disc golf course – and unfortunately (this being the big, big minus) also facing a major interstate highway.
From here it was a short drive to the Takara Sake Brewery, where we got an introduction to the traditional way of Sake production – followed by (of course) a tasting in their tasting room, featuring both local Berkeley, as well as imported sakes from Japan. The sake turned out an aperitif for us, as we continued to a Vietnamese restaurant for a pho lunch. This was followed by a short trip around the Berkeley campus and a visit of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (aka. BAMPFA).
After all this culture and education, it was about time, to go and try something else; so we ended up in the Rare Barrel – a brewery specialized in sour beer. Sour beer is a rather odd drink … and so far I have not been a fan of it. We ended up having a small selection of different beers (i.e. from different barrels), to get the different flavors. Two in our collection were essentially, as I remembered sour beer from other tastings (so not to my taste), two though were drinkable and the remaining two – surprise, surprise – really delicious. Well – it pays off, to be open 😉