Day two of my adventure - Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Managed to get a good early start and after helping myself to the free breakfast on offer at my hostel, kindly made by some Austrian backpackers, I was off for my first full day in San Francisco.   Chinatown was close by so decided just to wing it a bit and wander the streets to see what I could find.  I have previosuly been to Chinatown in London but this one was on a much bigger scale and just felt more authentic.  I loved architecture of the buildings and the smells coming from the various restaurants were amazing.  I somehow managed to fight the temptation of having a very early lunch and headed for the museum of modern art.

I had previously purchased a city pass so got free entrance to the museum.

  The building itself was in keeping with its theme but i felt a little underwelmed with the content.  I was expecting more pieces by Warhol but was still worth an hour.

Next stop was pier 39 to catch the golden gate ferry tour.  Again this part of the city pass package and one of the highlights of my trip.  Standing right at the bow of the boat as we approached the bridge I could feel the excitement and anticipation of everyone else on board.  As we went underneath the bridge, everyone`s cameras were at their side whilst we all just looked up in awe.  The return leg gave some great views of the city and is an experience i`ll never forget.

A short walk from the ferry drop off point is the Aquarium of the bay and again this was part of the city pass.

  I`d not really done any research and so was unsure what to expect.  After struggling to find the entrance, I was eventually taken down in the lift ( yes i said lift not escalator!).  This is where you get to walk in a sort of corridor of glass underneath the water.  All around you are sharks, sting rays and an assortment of fish and other sea life.  Seeing sharks this way gave me a greater appreciation of their grace and beauty.

I`d learnt my lesson the previous day about the cost and eating and drinking in fishermans wharf, so took a short walk to In and Out burger place instead.  This had been recommended to me by another travbuddy who had told me to order something and ask for it animal style.  It was truly the best burger ive ever had, food of the gods!  Ive already started the campaign for In and Out to open a branch in England.

Time to head to Union Square.  Unlike the square in my hometown of Leicester, this was very chilled out.  There was a band playing and was just a nice relaxed atmosphere.

I`d arranged to meet up with Matt outside my hostel.  We managed to run the gauntlet of doormen trying to get us into variuos strip bars next to my hostel and made out way to O`Reillys.  I`d chatted to matt a little before the meetup and so was great to finally meet him.  After the shock of being asked for ID, i`m slightly older than 21, we settled down with our beers and swapped travel stories and tried to spot fellow travbuddys in the bar.  Neither of us were sure of who else was coming out that night so we made our way to the Stinking Rose. 

The stinking rose specialises in its use of garlic, which i`m not a great fan of but i`m game for anything.

  This is a great little restaurant in the heart of North Beach.  Neither Matt nor myself had rabbit before so we both went for that.  The amount of garlic on the accompanying sauce was far too over the top ( subtle they are not ) but the rabbit itself was excellent.  We scanned the desert menu, feeling sure this would be a garlic free zone.  However we were foolishly mistaken with dishes such as garlic ice cream on offer!!  So we decided to end this madness and move onto another bar.

We found ourselves in Lefty O`Doulls, which eventually bcome like a second to us!  By this time we`d got messages from Adrian and Robert and arranged to meet up with them there.  Several beers later and we were like best mates and what do best mates do in San Francisco?  They get their picture taken next to one of the hearts in Union Square!  Adrian used his Arizona charm and talked a seemningly decent looking guy to take the picture for us.

  Unfortunately looks can be deceiving and when we examined what he had taken we realised he had not been pointing the camera at our faces but instead had been focusing on other areas of our anatomy!

If i remember rightly at this point we somehow managed to lose Robert.  His last words where " i`m going for some food".  Matt, Adrian and myself were incredibly concerned for Roberts wellfare and went to search for him.  After a long five minutes we concluded we were wasting valuable drinking time and headed back to Lefty O`Doulls.  We were welcomed back with open arms ( they clearly know how much two Englishmen can drink!).  To be fair to Adrian he matched me drink for drink.  Before we knew it was 2am and we were being escorted from the premises by the police.  Ah it felt like home! The perfect end to a prefect day.

acowboy says:
Arizona charm? lol yeah, blame it on the indian!!
Posted on: May 13, 2009
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