Published: May 1st 2011May 1st 2011
We arrived in San Francisco for our last stop before returning home. The flight from Boston was nearly 6.5 hours and there was not one vacant seat on the plane. On arrival in San Francisco everything went well again and we were in the shuttle within 20 mins of arrival. The drive from the airport gave quite a different impression from the clean and pretty Boston, rows and rows of flat roofed houses, few trees and closer to the city some ‘dodgy looking’ neighbourhoods.
Arrived at our hotel near Union Square and I believe in the Theatre district, our room is very large and well appointed. We found the guest lounge and information concierge on the 15th floor. The area includes an open fire place, viewing terrace and tea/ coffee/ hot chocolate making facilities. We went for a quick look around Union Square and found lots of high end shops -apart from the usual high fashion lots of art galleries, and on the other hand quite a number of beggars around the area. We ended up having a late dinner at the hotel and afterwards watched the replay of the british wedding on TV.
Got up early this morning,
and found a sports bar come diner/ restaurant for breakfast around the corner. First time on our trip we’ve ever visited something like this, and funnily ended up getting pretty close to a breakfast I may have in Perth (with much better bread used for toast).
Afterwards we went to Powell Street for our first ride on the cable car. Wow, this is really experiencing San Francisco. I’ve never seen and experienced hills like this and being on the outside felt a little bit like being on a ride at the Royal Show. We passed through China town, Nob Hill and Russian Hill and got off at Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. Took heaps of photos and then made our way down Hyde St to Fisherman’s Wharf. It was still quite early and so we could explore without all the crowds which arrived later. The view of San Francisco Bay is breathtaking, we had the perfect weather - sunshine and not a cloud in sight. Went to Ghiradelli Square (chocolates), watched the swimmers in the Maritime Park and explored the piers incl the old ships in the maritime area. The sea lions weren’t there but heaps
of huge (absolutely huge) sea gulls. I’m still not sure if those bird really were sea gulls. We watched the yachts from the piers, went past a huge cruise ship (‘Disney Wonder’ with Minnie Mouse chimneys) and finally ended up at Pier 33 for our Alcatraz visit.
I could write pages but will just say that we were both very impressed and enjoyed the audio tour of the prison. The view from Alcatraz towards San Francisco was fantastic and the whole bay was full of yachts taking advantage of the beautiful weather on a Saturday afternoon. We returned back to a very late lunch, or early dinner. (Clam Chouder in sour dough bread). Purchased our souvenirs and soaked in the admosphere ( from musical performers to cartoonists offering drawings for $2.75 plus tax to people hiding in rubbish bins seeking money). Long, long queue at the cable car stop which meant we had to wait nearly 1 hour before boarding. We were entertained by a musician playing ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ to ‘Mr Bojangles’ whilst waiting for our turn on the cable car.
There are more photos below