Thursday, April 24, 2014

This and That About San Francisco

This was not our first visit to San Francisco. I think it was our fifth. So we know the city well and debated taking the time and money to visit again. But it's pull was great. So, when we were staying in Sonoma we decided to drive in to Larkspur and take the ferry across San Francisco Bay to the waterfront area.

It was a great trip:
The Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry
The San Francisco Skyline Behind Arch
Arriving at the Ferry Terminal
We decided to walk from the ferry terminal to Fisherman's Wharf - about 2 1/2 miles. There was so much to see we hardly noticed the distance :)
The Boat Tour to Alcatraz
We've already been to Alcatraz. Good thing as the tour was sold out for today. This is a really interesting tour (at least it was 20 years ago) so I would suggest buying tickets in advance if you want to go.
Lunch Time Entertainment
When we biked the Big Sur Coast we spent 3 days in San Francisco biking around and getting accustomed to the hills. One day we rode down Market St and ended up at this restaurant.
This Restaurant Brings Back Memories
A lot of cyclists were already there with their bikes resting against the rail around the patio. We decided to do the same. Only, when I went to rest my bike on the rail I somehow knocked several bikes over – what chaos that caused as everyone rushed to save their bikes. In the confusion we quietly took our bikes and left.

Eventually we arrived at Fisherman's Wharf:

A busy, happening spot with lots of restaurants - most selling some form of crab:
I thought my lobster fisher friends would be impressed by this "at the wharf" price for crab.
This man was shelling crab while you waited.
We had lunch at Fisherman's Wharf but that is a story for another blog. After lunch, to get a new look at the city, we took a bus tour. And learned a great deal that we did not know. I was very impressed to hear that the city imposes a 2% tax on hotel rooms with all the revenue going to purchase and maintain street art. And art seemed to be everywhere. I loved these two pieces:

Several years ago the city commissioned many artists to paint hearts that were located around the city. A few are auctioned each year with the funds raised going to a local hospital. This heart is in Union Square.

And Tony Bennett (get it? - “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”) was asked to paint a heart – which is also in Union Square:
Tony's heart is not for sale
The Lobby of the Hyatt Hotel, across from the ferry terminal, was a work of art in itself.
All rooms open onto a walkway that overlooks the lobby
This young man was practising the art of tight rope walking in a park by the ferry terminal.
Not a busker, just practicing
And the ferry terminal contained several little food shops where busy commuters could grab supper, or the makings of supper, before heading home.We joined the fray and picked up:
Bread from the bakery
Really great cheese from a shop operated by a local creamery
Fresh veggies for a salad
And a great bottle of California wine
A delicious and simple supper. And one of our favourites. And the perfect end to a wonderful day.

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  1. We really enjoy San Fran but those crab prices are ridiculous! I guess we need to return to Seattle for decent dungenous crab prices.

    1. The power of lots of tourists with lots of money. The "at the wharf" price for lobster in Nova Scotia was about $6/lb when we were home last summer. Really crazy - it is hard for the fishers to make a living at that price - it should be around $8.


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