Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 17 - Sightseeing in San Francisco

Lombard Street
 Slept late this morning - very comfortable bed :-). Bought a daily ticket for the cable car and hopped on board to go to Fisherman's Wharf. The cable car ride was great, the streets are very steep in places and the cable cars zip up and down them, ringing their bells across the intersections, people hanging off the sides - just like you see in the movies :-)

Sean riding the cable car
 We got off at Lombard Street - the crookedest street in the world. Being the end of winter the flower beds were bare but it was still pretty cool to see it. I could not walk all the way down because of the dodgy knees so we will try to drive down it tomorrow to get the view from the bottom looking up.
Found a nice bakery in the Fisherman's Wharf area for breakfast/brunch. It specialized in sourdough and you could see the bread being made through huge windows from the street. Had the best grilled cheese I have ever had and also a nice coffee. (The coffee over here can be pretty ordinary, so much of it is Starbucks which is awful stuff).
Wandered along the waterfront. Could not get tickets for Alcatraz today, but we did know that you had to pre-book them. I was not too keen to go anyway because of the huge hill you had to climb at the beginning of the tour - I am alright going up hill, but down hills is very painful for me!

Seals at Pier 39
 Decided to do a boat tour under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz. The weather was very typical for San Francisco - foggy and a lightdrizzle at times. It was quite cool also. Forecast did not look like improving so we went out on the boat into the fog - amazing just how much swell was in the bay. There were waves breaking under the Golden Gate Bridge. We could not see the top of it because of the fog, but it was pretty awesome to go under it.
Sailed around Alcatraz and then back to Pier 39. Saw all the sealions by the Pier and also walked through the shops there, watched a street performer who was quite good - still can't believe how cheap clothes are, like 3 t-shirts for $10, and they are good quality!!
Golden Gate Bridge in the fog

 Decided to get the cable car back to the hotel for a rest. It is very easy to get around and the cable car stopped only a short way from our hotel. Had a couple of hours to rest the knees then we got the cable car back to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner. I wanted to have the Chowder that is so famous here, so we found a nice restaurant that had sampler pots of chowder which meant I could try 3 flavours - had crab and corn, clam chowder and mussel chowder, all were delicious. Sean had fish and chips which were also very good - the fries had garlic and parmesan on them, unusual but nice.

Cable Car
 I really like San Francisco, it is a very vibrant city that has lots of energy about it. It is not the cleanest city though and there are quite a few homeless people around (also saw that in LA). I could not live here because of the hills and the more inclement weather patterns but I am enjoying the visit here enormously.
Tomorrow we are going to Sanoma to see the giant Redwood trees. Weather is supposedly going to be much the same as today so we shall decide what else to do on the day as they are not always right with the forecast - much the same as at home :-)

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