On my first day in SF and with nothing better to do, I decided to take to one of the city’s steep inclines: the Telegraph Hill.

Located just behind the Italian quarter of North Beach where I was staying, this charming residential district right beside Chinatown is also home to many of the city’s famous Victorian houses.  A peaceful area to wander around (if you like climbing hills) but I had a goal: go up the hill to the Coit Tower

The view from street level and Coit tower looming at the top.  Still flat…

Until you reach end of the road and suddenly, it rises up to a 60degree incline (!)  This is the part where your leisurely walk becomes a huff and puff climb.  Walking these hills is not a joke. It takes serious stamina and determined feet to climb up all the way.

Note the cars parked on the left side, I’m still amazed at how San Franciscans have mastered the skill of parking on an incline!

In between the climbs, you are rewarded with this view of the Financial District.

Finally, my goal. I’m not really sure why this tower was built but I heard somewhere it resembles a fire hose’s nozzle which, somehow, it really does.  Actually, the only reason why I huffed and puffed my way is because of its Art-Deco architecture.  Being an Deco enthusiast, I just had to see it.  The murals inside are supposed to be superb but I only saw part of it since it was closed.

And to top it alll, this view of the Golden Gate Bridge on a nice clear day!

Worth the climb I say if you have time to kill and don’t mind burning a few calories.

Bring water though.