I visited UC Berkeley and took an impromptu stroll along Thornton State Beach this weekend. The weather was perfect and it was great exploring both the UC campus and the beach, learning new things along the way! It was such a nice way to get away from everything going on in the city and check out activities outside the city.
What brought me to Berkeley was to check out an apartment for a friend who’s out of the country and is starting at Berkeley Law in the fall. While there, I met up with Brandon and Amihan for lunch at Eureka Burger and it was so good. You could actually taste the patty and the bun was so crispy delicious. We walked around the downtown area afterwards and it had a very hipster feel, or “granola” as some people say. Lots of shops and restaurants but also a lot of people doing their own things and expressing themselves. It makes sense that protests and movements stem from Berkeley.
We made a loop around campus and it was my first time on Berkeley’s campus. Brandon is going to be an orientation leader in the fall, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to practice giving campus tours… to me! Berkeley’s campus is pretty big, similar to Cornell’s, spanning ~1 mile across. It was also very scenic with trees and fields everywhere. Big fan of how naturey the campus is. I think I was expecting the buildings to have more of a classic architecture feel, but most of them actually look very industrial.
We passed by a few cool spots around campus. There was a mini plaza area with a semi-circle concrete bench along the sides. If you stand at a certain point in the middle and talk, you’ll hear an echo. It was odd because you’re completely out in the open except for the bench. Apparently there’s also a whisper bench but we didn’t get to go. Another fun fact is that as a result of a protest which ended with the chancellor’s office door being chained shut, Berkeley’s double doors now only have one handle to prevent it from happening again. That’s such an interesting fact!
On the way back to SF, Amihan and I decided to take a detour and explore Thornton State Beach. You get to the beach by descending down a giant cliff and I’ve stumbled across this a few weeks ago, but didn’t have time to make the climb. This time we made it all the way down the sand trail and ended up walking 3 miles along the beach. The Pacific waves were huge, way bigger than they seemed from afar, and apparently the waves there have rip currents that will drag you back out. Not suitable for water activities.
Along the way, we saw limestone rocks on one side and sea foam from the Pacific Ocean on the other side. We came across this pipe that allows water to rush in instead of eroding the rocks, but I don’t know how well it works. And I learned what sand dollars are! They’re like a flattened clam but have flowery designs on the shell. When they’re alive they’re purple and will stand upright on the sand, but most of the ones that washed up were dead and cracked because they’re fragile. I spent the remainder of the trip scavenging for full sand dollars and found a couple.
I was so pooped after walking for hours on the beach, but it was so worth. I’m happy I got to explore new places and learn new things while doing so!