Monday morning, we left for San Francisco. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge. We had barely opened the car door when a cold wind slapped us in our faces. We had left Sacramento in shorts and flip flops, but San Francisco was cloudy and damn cold! We got out our sweaters and jackets, before we started the short walk up the hill to the vista point. We were lucky, because despite the clouds, the Golden Gate Bridge hadn’t been covered in the descending fog yet and we had a good view of the San Francisco Bay.
We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and parked the car in the Marina District. We walked along the waterfront and had another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the other side of the bay. We also walked over to the Palace of Fine Arts.
My parents had been in San Francisco before, but they had never seen the Marina District and where quite impressed by the beautiful homes.
In the afternoon, we drove to the Golden Gate Park and took a walk through the Botanical Garden. We crossed the rest of the park by car until we reached the coast. I suggested to have dinner in North Beach, the Italian Quarter of San Francisco. I remembered a little Italian restaurant that I had been to with Viviane, when she was visiting from Oklahoma during her exchange semester.
After dinner we drove to Twin Peaks to enjoy a fantastic sunset and great view of Market Street and Downtown San Francisco. Sadly, the wind was blowing so hard that we couldn’t really stay for a long time and we were really glad to get back into the car.
We drove to our hotel, which was close to the San Francisco Airport.
After a great breakfast at the Ã¢â‚¬Å¾IHOPÃ¢â‚¬Å“ [International House of Pancakes] the next morning, we decided to take the Shuttle bus to the airport and take the BART [train] into Downtown San Francisco. We got off at Market/Powell Street and saw the first cable car.
We walked a couple of blocks to Union Square, the central shopping, hotel and theater district in San Francisco. It’s a one-block park surrounded by many department and brand-name stores. We walked through Chinatown and then down Columbus Street to North Beach, the Italian Quarter, where we took a break and had some drinks at an Italian CafÃƒÂ© :)
A few blocks down, we visited the famous Lombard Street.
From there we walked down to the Waterfront and finally arrived at FishermanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Wharf with all its numerous shops and restaurants. Of course, we also walked to Pier 39, enjoyed the close view of Alcatraz and visited the sea lions – although there were not many this time.
We had dinner on the pier at the Hard Rock CafÃƒÂ© :)
Of course, we couldn’t end the day in San Francisco without riding the Cable Car :) We walked to the Ghiradelli Square Station and the Cable Car took us back to Market Street – the starting point of our tour. What a fun ride! We had some “Starbucks” while were where waiting for the BART train which then took us back to our hotel near the airport.