Back to civilization

We left Yosemite for San Francisco – a mere 300 km (peanuts compared to the distances we were used to on that trip), but we were so tired after a long and strenuous (but awesome) hike that we didn’t feel like finding our way in the big city after all that wilderness. So we decided to stop (sort of) halfway, and check out the hallowed halls of Berkeley while we were at it. (made me think of this book)





We walked around this liberal academic mecca, trying to spot the Law School (of course…). And there it was:


…with an imposing quote by legendary Justice Cardozo. I rarely get chills when it comes to the question of studying law – but i couldn’t help but wonder what it would have been like to study there, in the same halls and alleys where the modern liberal culture was forged. Just the thought was enough to get me excited about everything.

We went inside to look around for anything related to Hans Kelsen, a world-famous (legal world, that is :-) ) Austrian legal scholar that taught there after being chased out of Nazi Germany – my office here in Freiburg is currently working on a big project involving his work (i’ll spare you the details :-) ), so i wanted to bring back some memorabilia. But nothing was to be found (and not a single person i asked knew what i was talking about… i guess he’s not that famous in the legal world either…). So we took a picture of the awesome designer chairs in the law library instead:


Not too shabby, hey? Though i’m not complaining – we’ve got plenty of designer chairs here in Freiburg. In fact, even our canteen chairs are by Eames:


(sidenote: somebody managed to steal 84 of them, reportedly worth a total of €40.000!).

We left the Law school building, slightly disappointed (at least i was), so i tried my first pumpkin spice coffee at the Golden Bear café to make up for it (don’t let the sunny sky fool you: it was almost christmas!). Everybody was going nuts about pumpkin spice everything, so i thought i’d go with the flow.


Cup in hand, we decided to make the most of the great weather and blue sky by climbing to the top of the Campanile to take in the view. Built in 1914, and standing 93m tall, it offers absolutely spectacular views over Berkeley, going as far as nearby San Francisco. The area is known to be particularly foggy, but we were lucky – there was not a cloud in the sky and, although it was a bit hazy, we could see all the way to Oakland,


and even all the way out to San Francisco in the distance (over the Haas pavillion, home of the California Golden Bears!):


We tried to make out the Golden Gate bridge on the horizon, but visibility was not that great (even though we were told we were extremely lucky to even see that far. The area is almost always carpeted in a thick mist). Never mind though – we were going to be rewarded by amazing views the whole time we spent in San Francisco. Looking at it from far away made me so excited to see it from up close  – so we got in the car and headed for the Bay Bridge – slightly less glamorous than its red sibling, but just as fascinating:



San Francisco, here we come.


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