San Francisco

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge

Having stopped at Leggat for breakfast and some pretty pricey gas it was onwards down the coast to San Francisco. Being in Redwood National park we took the opportunity to drive through a tree, a pretty surreal and nerve-racking experience (there was almost no margin for error). It was a beautiful day which meant scenic stops every 5 mins to admire the awesome coastline (and the odd eagle or two). Needless to say, with the car due in San Fran for 6pm, we were cutting it quite fine. We weren´t heped at all by an hour delay on the freeway due to a pretty nasty-looking accident involving an overturned cement lorry, or something of the sort.

Em at the world´s crookedest street

Driving over the Golden Gate bridge was amazing and also provided spectacular views of the city beyond. With Ads on map duty ( I had cunningly opted to sit in the back), we spent the next hour negotiating our way through the city and looking for the drop-off point. Understandably, tension mounted and tempers frayed when it was discovered that the reason we couldn´t find it was because we were looking for the wrong street! Anyway, we managed to deposit the car back with seconds to spare. Finding the hostel proved stressful having forgotten to print off the address or remember the correct name (Adelaide Hostel - two blocks from Union Square) but once stumbled upon, it was a cracking place to stay, very central and $5 dollar dinners on offer every night.

Bonus. Dropping off our bags, it was soon time for an evening stroll around the city and a spot of dinner at a nearby bar and grill. A quick pint at Lefty O´Douls rounded the day off nicely.

Taking advantage of the hostels free breakfast, the morning was spent touching base with parents and indulging ourselves in a spot of shopping. Much to my delight, our hostal was right in the middle of the shopping district with Macys on our doorstep so I was well and truly set for the next 5 days! However, with Nick limiting me to a mere hour, I was reluctantly dragged me from the shops and we headed for the hop-on hop-off city  bus tour and headed to Pier 39 at Fisherman´s Wharf. Fishermans Wharf provides a bit of everything, beautiful coastlines, tacky shops, bars, restaurants and more shops.

Solution
We spent some time taking in the atmosphere and stopped for a spot of lunch watching a very talented Jazz player in the sunshine. After walking the length of the Wharf, we stopped by Pier 39, home to hundreds of sea lions and a cheeky pint before hopping back onto the bus to take in some of San Fran´s other famous sites including Coit Tower, Oakland Bridge and the Millenium Triangle.

Arriving back at the hostel, we cashed-in on our $5 dinner (actually very tasty) and headed out again to a great little Irish bar (The Irish Bank) before calling it a day.

The next morning saw stunning weather so we took the bus to San Frans coastline (Ocean Drive Beach) and indulged in a couple of hours sunbathing (working towards ticking off another of Ads must do´s - get wicked tan).

Back to Fishermans Wharf and working up quite a thrist, we found ourselves at Jacks, an awesome bar where we got chatting to some locals and somehow lost half of the afternoon. Next on the agenda was Fog City, a quant little diner (although this still did not quite epitomise the American diner so this was still left on Ads must do list). Catching the last hop on bus of the day to Union Square and back to the hostal via Virgin Mega Store to pick up the Wombats album. Another $5 doller dinner and sending Nick out on laundry duty, he soon came back in need of more beer so headed out into town with Ads to quench his thirst and have some well needed man time. As it turns out they found some cool little bars and got chatting to someone known only as weed-boy who, in a green haze and through extremely bloodshot eyes, assured them that the Pacific Coast Highway would ´blow your freaking mind, man´in a way that only seems possible in California.

For our last full day in San Fran, we wanted to go and explore Nob Hill, an affluent and trendy part of the city. Nick had already tried to drag Ads and I up the 45 degree hill that led to the area on the first day, but after a mix up with directions, Nick had trouble locating the exact part (yes, thats right, Nicks map reading skills were in definite need of fine tuning at this point!) Anyway, today we decided to catch the tram and when we arrived, we found a bustling area and after a quick coffee break, we caught another tram to the Bay via Lombard Street, the worlds most crocked street. Once we reached Pier 39, we had a tour booked for Alcatraz so hopped aboard a boat to take us the 20 minute journey to the island. Here we did the audio tour around the main cell  block, stopping for the obligatory prison cell pictures and listening to several of the attempted escape stories.

Skyline, briefly fog-free
If you´re in San Francisco, don´t miss it - it´s a fantastic tour and really gives you a sense of just how desolate and foreboding life must have been in there. Aboard the ferry once more and back to the hostel to change before heading out to Lori´s diner. This one definitely ticked off Ads diner experience box. Red Leather seats. bar stools, juke boxes and a real 50´s vibe, awesome. We rounded off our San Fran experience with some in some very cool bars along Cow´s Hollow.

Tommorrow would see us pick up another hire car and take the road to LA. We had all really enjoyed our time in this quirky and lively city and although I was sad to say goodbye, Rodeo Drive and Hollywood weren´t far away and we couldn´t wait. San Francisco really lives up to the hype as an uber-cool, relaxed and friendly place to spends a few days.

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Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge
Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge
Em at the world´s crookedest stre…
Em at the world´s crookedest str…
Solution
Solution
Skyline, briefly fog-free
Skyline, briefly fog-free
Big tree!
Big tree!
Alcatraz island
Alcatraz island
Coit tower
Coit tower
Drive-through tree
Drive-through tree
Fishermans wharf
Fishermans wharf
Arc de triomphe?
Arc de triomphe?
Pier 39
Pier 39
More Sea-Lions
More Sea-Lions