San Francisco was a lot of things – warm wasn’t one of them! We arrived expecting to be greeted by the famous California sun, and found ourselves shivering in the chilly winds that whipped across the peninsula. The locals have the insight into the weather though, and we heard many times from rugged up, beanie wearing San Franciscans, “Yeah it’s cold here in May”, but like us, many other visitors arrived underdressed and we spotted many tourists with thick touristy “I love San Francisco” hoodies. Clearly not a fashion statement but an impulse buy designed to keep oneself warm - we only narrowly avoided the same purchase.
San Francisco has a really cool arty and mellow vibe, it’s blessed with historic architecture, the public transport is extensive, loads of people are out pounding the pavement, and there’s clearly a bike culture developing (despite the hills). For our first couple of nights we stayed in the downtown area of Nob Hill, close to the main tourist attractions and city centre sights. After many sleep deprived plane hours we navigated the BART to the city centre and found ourselves trekking uphill for 6 very steep blocks to our hostel! Welcome to San
We spent a couple of days walking the city sights, riding the cable car and trolleys, and public buses to take us further afield. We clocked up the obligatory tour to Alcatraz island, strolled through Golden Gate park, ventured out the Pacific ocean beaches, visited the gay Castro and hippie Haight (though apart from the smell of weed that permeated the air, there was not much evidence of modern day hippies at all). We stayed for a couple of nights in the Mission area which has a large Hispanic and Latino population, and is famous for it’s murals and street food. Our CS hosts in the Mission, Amanda and Andrew took us out for some local beers, and introduced us to our first “Cali-Mex” food – massive delicious and juicy burritos filled with barbequed pork. YUM! The meals here are huge - we’ve since taken to ordering one meal between us and sharing.
Our visit coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Bay to Breakers. B2B is a 12km foot race that crosses from the Embarcadero in the bay through Golden Gate Park to the Pacific coast, where clothing is optional and almost everything goes. Whilst some
people actually take the race seriously, most participants don outrageous costumes and complete the ‘race’ hauling kegs, smoking and swilling beer with their mates, finishing up in one massive after party in the Golden Gate Park.
We really enjoyed our time here, and we’re looking forward to returning after our epic road trip, to bike the Golden Gate bridge, and experience more that San Francisco has to offer.
We heart San Francisco.
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