Biking the Golden Gate Bridge!

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Having a short rest along the way.

We had a short(ish) 4 hour flight to San Francisco with Air Mexicana from Mexico City on September the 18th. As we had only a 3 night, 2 day stay in San Francisco, we wanted to get up early...but not as early as we did get up....we had forgotten about the change of time zone and only realised it was 2 hours earlier than we thought when we were looking for some place to get breakfast!! Nevermind, anyway, we had to do something pretty cool... and so we decided to hire bikes and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a great idea (although my backside has only just about forgiven me, 2 weeks on!) and a very energetic start to our trip in the States. We cycled from Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf along the seafront and up a hill to get to the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
That was a pretty tiring start to say the least but with the bridge in our sights more or less from the start to spur us on, we cycled happily up to see an awesome view of the city from the bridge.

The bridge was really busy with the flow of traffic constant but our bike lane was not too crowded and we really enjoyed the trip over, stopping now and again to have a rest and to take in the sights. Once over the bridge, it was all downhill to Sausalito...A gorgeous scenic town (or city by British standards) on the seafront overlooking Alcatraz and San Francisco. Sausalito has the most spectacular houses (well, for non-celebrities anyway) and we were told later that the house prices there were among the highest in the USA.

The Bay Bridge, San Francisco..Although we thought it was the Golden Gate until we realised it didn't look at all golden!!
...and it shows! After a lovely, peaceful and relaxing sit down and some lunch (the best home-made burgers ever and fantastic choco brownies), we hopped on the ferry back to Pier 39 to take or bikes back. I am not keen on ferrys as they make me feel a little sick, but John enjoyed the ride back to San Francisco as we steamed passed Alcatraz island, which has a prison which used to hold famous prisoners such as Al Capone.

So, 5 and a half hours and nearly 10 miles later, we were ready to go back to the hostel for a hard earned rest.....or at least that would have been nice....Our hostel was situated in just about the worst area of San Francisco, with homeless and druggies literally on the streets outside! That would not be too bad, if our hostel was a haven, away from all that.

The Seals at San Fran's Pier 39.
...but it wasn't. When we first arrived in our room, it was late and so it was dark and we actually thought someone had robbed the place!! They hadn't of course, it was the mess of the people LIVING in the room...yes, living there...One bloke of about 50, who was trying to move back to the area and find a job (he wore an eye mask every night and I don't think it was to block out the light, it was probably to block out the mess!!). There were another two boys who wore their clothes to bed and got up again the next morning, no wash or anything and just put hats on and left, and a woman of about 40 (although she may have been younger) who had clearly drunk most of her brains away (every time she moved her stuff you could hear the clinking of the glass bottles)...she spent most of the time in her own little world!

As you can imagine, we didn't want to go and rest our weary bums in that room, so we decided to go to the cinema, see a flick and go back to the room as possible (tired enough that we would go STRAIGHT to sleep).

We watched "The Last Kiss" on the edge our seats that night...not because the movie was soooo good, but because we had to...our backsides were so sore that we really couldn't sit any other way!! The film was ok though, very watchable and it was nice to (try) and relax.

We spent the second and last day of our trip strolling around the city. We walked through China Town, had a drink or two in a real American sports bar, played old slot machines from around the turn of the century in the pier museum and had a gander at the shops at Pier 39. We wanted a fairly relaxing day (seeing as we had such an energetic first day) and that's what we got. We had said we wanted to sit on the seafront in San Francisco, listening to 'Dock of the Bay' by Otis Reding...and so we did! Chalk it down, cross it of, tick that box etc.

..I have always wanted to be there and hear that song and now I have done it (small pleasures eh!). It was great, peaceful and tranquil...We rode back to the hostel, just after the sun had set, on one of San Fran's famous trams (another one down!) and had a bite to eat before heading to our room and going to sleep.

Two packed days in San Francisco...We really enjoyed and the city must be great because the hostel was sooo bad thet it would have been easy to have let that colour our judgement and make us not like the place. It was fab, well worth the 9 hour Greyhound bus ride we were to endure the next day to get to L.A.

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Having a short rest along the way.
Having a short rest along the way.
The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
The Bay Bridge, San Francisco..Alt…
The Bay Bridge, San Francisco..Al…
The Seals at San Fran's Pier 39.