Published: September 13th 2012September 6th 2012
Today was a big day of exploring the wonders of San Francisco! I headed out at 9.30am and asked the reception for some advice on breakfast and if I could hold my bags there the next day, before I flew out. Tony the doorman was very helpful and said he would book me a shuttle and gave me some discount vouchers for Lori's Diner at the end of the street. It was a nice 50's style diner and I had a great cooked breakfast of Egg's Benedict with good old OJ. I headed down to Market Street to get the F line trolley up to Fisherman's Wharf. As i approached the road I saw a massive queue and was worried that this would be where I would spend my morning. However this was a queue of foreign tourists trying to get on an old fashioned traditional trolley so I would not be joining them!
When I arrived at Pier 39 I went and hired a bike for the day so I could cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge and around the coast before getting a ferry back. The journey was great and the view of the bay as you approached and cycled over the bridge was outstanding. It was also a very very sunny and warm day which is not typical of SF at this time of year. I would recommend this to anyone visiting SF as it was a great way to see the bridge and explore the bay region. I followed the route given by the bike company and travelled the 9 miles to Sausalito, which is a lovely harbour town with lots of restaurants and shops built on piers. I had a lunch of Crab Cakes at Scoma's, which was fantastic, whilst studying the ferry timetables.
As it was 1.45 I had the option to wait for a ferry at 3.20pm or bike around the coast and get the 3pm ferry from Tiburon. I opted for the latter and set off on my bike and a high speed. However i was unable to follow the directions and got lost several times before finding the coast path. At this point I was very behind schedule so started putting my foot down big time. I also realised that I was burning big time as for the first time all summer I had not out on suncream! I put on my hoody and kept peddling but after getting lost a few times I gave up making the ferry so took it easy and enjoyed the lovely views back over towards Sausalito and SF. In the end I was only 15 min late for the ferry so had done 12 miles in 1.5hrs not too bad seeing how many times I got lost!
The next ferry wasnt until 5pm so I spent the next few hours in a mexican bar on the harbour front enjoying Happy Hour! It was a very enjoyable and relaxed afternoon especially after my long bike ride! At one point a huge seagull flew down and attacked a left over bowl of tortilla chips left on a table without a care! When it was time to board I was standing on the dock wearing my Durham hoody and a guy comes up to me and says that I was a long way from Durham. It turns out he studied there 25 years ago and went to Cuths...so I gave the standard Bailey battering before we boarded.
On board I met a guy from Australia called Alex who was travelling the city alone due to his friends, who he was staying with, being "unsocialble and working". We discussed my trip and he asked if I had driven a Mustang! Crazy as I had realised the day before that everyone drives them up the PCH. When it came to depart I realised there were bloody loads of bikes on the ferry, as we had stopped in Sausalito on the way to SF, so it took a while to disembark! I had recieved a call from Ariel De Sal, Jan and Steve's daughter, whilst on the ferry and we arranged to meet outside my hotel at 8pm. So I got the F line back down town before cleaning up for drinks with Ariel and her boyfriend Fred.
At this time I realised how ridiculously burnt I had become during the day! So I lathered on the aftersun and then went to wait outside on the street corner. Whilst I was waiting a man came up and introduced himself to me and started asking questions before asking me for money. A bit intimidated I managed to get him to leave with only $1. When Ariel and Fred arrived we went to an Irish bar and had a few drinks. They were great fun and we had some great conversations about universities, sports and Ariel's Dad! Ariel is a bit of a clutz and managed to knock over my beer twice but she made up for it by acquiring me a nice SF Giants pint glass. Whilst there Fred asked the guy at the end of the table for a cigarette and the girl he was with was from Birmingham! I come halfway around the world to a small bar and meet an english girl what a joke!
Rather tipsy and tired they took me back to my hotel and then I packed a bit and feel into a dip heat-stroke induced sleep.