Monday, July 23, 2007

In bicicletta a Oakland

A few weeks ago I was determined to bike somewhere, even though I was by myself, and I decided to just try and see how Oakland was. Supposedly, there are some nice places that my guide recommends, and there are bike lanes all the way from my home to down there. Unfortunately, almost all of this information didn't turn out to be true.. :) - the bike lane is just a joke downtown Oakland. You're biking in the largest boulevard, with cars coming from everywhere around you - and they dare calling that a 'bike path'... Also, to be really honest, I couldn't find many nice things to see there. I went to Lake Merrit, which had some nice views, but I think I'm really spoiled as for lakes by my beloved Lake Johnson, where I lived in Raleigh, NC. So, Lake Merrit was nothing so exciting for me. Anyway, you can see a shot of it here:
The best part of my trip was on the way back, and I went there by pure chance: I managed to enter the Historic Mountain View Cemetery, which is at the border between Piedmont, Oakland and Berkeley. It's an absolutely huge cemetery. I biked through a small part of it (I was a bit tired). Here you can see a shot of the Catholic part (it's enclosed by a gate):
And here is a shot of the historic part:
While I was biking, I met the two ladies that you can see walking away in this picture.
They were really happy to explain me the history of the cemetery. Apparently it was spared by pure luck by the big fire that destroyed a large part of Oakland and of the hills around Berkeley in 1989. Nowadays, people go there not only to feel close to their dear ones, but also to enjoy the park, walk around and be immersed in the history of the place.


atrave said...

Mountain View Cemetery is a gem, I go there every once a while to enjoy the view from the top of the hills. Did you know it was designed by Olmstead, the same architect of Central Park in New York?
Also, a nice view in Lake Merritt is the one from the north-east corner (next to the Grand Lake Theater) around sunset, with all the birds crowding the water surface.
And you may try to find the Oakland Rose Garden, which is hidden away between Grand and Oakland Avenues.

chemcookit said...

Ciao Andrea!
Thanks a lot for your suggestions. :) Actually, the women told me about the architect too.. I forgot about it! I may go back to look for the Rose Garden, then. :)