Published: April 9th 2009April 9th 2009
After Yosemite we drove straight to San Fran arriving Tuesday around 1pm, we checked into our hotel in the china town area and headed straight out into town as we wanted to make the most of our 3 days there!!!
With Sam in tow I made a beeline straight to Wholefoods which is now officially my most favourite store in the world and after getting some energy we bought ourselves a 3 day pass for the Municipal transport in the city. Which was quite reasonable actually, only $18 and provided full access to every part of town and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Our first stop was North Beach/Telegraph Hill area which according to the guide book was a cool arty area with some nice shops. We rated it only as an average with just a few boutiques. The highlight of the area turned out to be getting there and was our very first tram ride which was cool, they seem like a lot of hard work to operate and they do not stop at lights so if you are a car you really do need to watch out!
After North Beach we then headed to Fisherman's Wharf which is a
tourist trap, although quite pretty. We saw it properly the next day after we headed out of there to visit Alcatraz. After Fisherman's Wharf we headed to Union Square which I told in good faith by a lady on the tram that this was the place to shop. So we headed down on the tram and proceeded to spend the next 3 hour shopping in the malls of the area. We got a few bits and bobs and then headed to Farmer Browns which is a really funky Organic bar/restaurant with an African influence in the Soho equivalent of San Fran (Tenderloin), the bar was pretty packed but we managed to get a seat along with some Happy Hour cocktails...After great food and booze we headed home as our feet were killing and Sam was shopped out.
The next morning we got up bright and early and headed down to the pier to catch the 9am Ferry to Alcatraz. There was a huge queue which surprised me, as I didn't realise so many people would want to visit an old prison. Alcatraz is only 1.2 miles from mainland so the ride took us all of 5 minutes. When we arrived
we saw a short video about Alcatraz then headed in to look at the main block of cells. When we arrived at the cell block we were given head phones a starting point. From there you were guided by the audio around the cell block. I have to say they have totally got it down, the audio was amazing, its gave so much detail about the prisoners, the families who lived there, breakouts (or attempts as no one is actually known to have survived, although there are 3 still listed as on the run but suspected drowned) If they did survive I think they headed to South America. Anyway I was pleasantly surprised how interesting it all was.
We got the boat back and headed for more shopping via the tacky shops in Fisherman's wharf and went to the very funky Marina and Cow Hollow areas. These areas are like a large scale Hampstead with amazing Deli's, Patisseries and most importantly fabulous boutiques... After lots of shopping and food, we headed back for a quick shower and a touch up before heading out for dinner. I ended up having one Mohito too many and needless to say the next day
we didn't get up so early! When we did eventually surface we headed to the Golden Gate bridge, which was quite intimidatingly spectacular, it is sooo huge, we had a fantastic sunny day and the bay around it looked just stunning, however it was gusting at least 30 knots of wind so we walked up and down it once then head onto our next stop.
Our final stop was Castro, which is the Gay/Trendy area which was cool to see but not that exciting. Then we headed back to the hotel as I thought that Sam was going to have a hernia if he had to walk anywhere else or look at any more boutiques.
San Fran is a very vibrate town and the favourite city so far, although like all trendy sophisticated places it is very expensive! So after 3 days we were ready to get back on the road.
There are more photos below