San Francisco, USA

An introduction to San Francisco

I had a short 3-day stopover in San Francisco, my first introduction to the city.  I loved it instantly!

First up I decided to take the hop-on hop-off bus. It was a great way to get my bearings and see San Francisco’s hot spots. The driver was also threw in a couple of jokes, plus lots of information that I wouldn’t have gleaned elsewhere, so it was a great way to spend a couple of hours. That day however the fog was extremely thick. So thick that when we got to the Golden Gate Bridge for a ten minute stop, I couldn’t see it. I walked right up until I was standing on it, and I still couldn’t see it! I sure hoped the fog would lift before I left.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

I got off the bus just before Union Square, at the Yerba Buena Gardens for a visit to the San Francisco Modern Art Museum. I lucked out with my timing, as the free public tour departed about one minute after I walked in. It’s a lovely museum, and after braving the cold on the top of the bus, it was the perfect thing to do to warm up.

I had been very fortunate to have been invited to dinner by some fellow travelbloggers.  Dave and Merry Jo were great company and we had a fabulous meal in Chinatown, at the House of Nanking. I really enjoyed meeting some fellow travel lovers, hearing their stories and their plans for the next trip.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco is reasonably compact, so I decided to do some walking.  From the map, it didn’t look far to walk from the pier to North Beach, the Italian quarter. The map made it look so easy. However what it neglected to mention was that between me and Columbus St, my destination, was an enormous hill and it couldn’t be avoided.

I ended up walking up about a gazillion steps to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower and finally ended up, a little sweaty, in Washington Square, where Mike, my driver from the previous day, had told us that Marilyn Monroe and Joe Di Maggio had their wedding photos.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

Not far from there is the world’s crookedest street, Lombard Street, then I took myself back, over hill and dale, to Columbus St,North Beach, where I well and truly deserved my crisp Californian Rose and my pasta with osso bucco.

Despite all the hills I enjoyed the walk immensely and saw behind the tourist curtain into some gorgeous residential areas. I was also impressed at how incredibly friendly everyone was. One woman volunteered her assistance as I was pondering my map and how to avoid another damn hill, while another man struck up conversation as I looked up towards the world’s crookedest street, then wished me a nice time in the city. Despite the huge numbers of tourists, people are still very friendly and welcoming.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

That evening I went to the theatre, a play by a local guy called Humor Abuse. It was at the American Conservatory Theatre, only a couple of blocks from the hotel, and a very enjoyable way to spend a Friday night.

My final day I decided to take myself on another walking tour, this time to the Mission district, or Latino neighbourhood. I visited the Dolores Mission, wandered up to the Dolores Park, and over to Valencia and Mission St. It was a fascinating part of town, with lots of colour, and great people watching.

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco is wonderful city and I loved it. It would have been great to have had more time there – see the Redwoods, explore the wine country, walk the bridge, and spend more time in some of the San Fran neighbourhoods. But now I have an excuse to go back!

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, USA

 

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