Back to San Francisco

Trip Start Mar 28, 2012
Trip End May 24, 2012

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Where I stayed
Motel 6 San Rafael
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, May 20, 2012

We have both been looking forward to revisiting San Francisco - it is a vibrant and attractive city that hugs the hills and coastline around its bay. We made really good time from Eureka and covered the 250 miles easily arriving at our Motel at about 1:45. We had plenty of time to check-in, unpack (such as you do moving nearly every day) and Skype the kids in various parts of the world.

The journey down was easy and for most of it we could cruise at 65mph with little or no other traffic on the road. Again we were delighted by how different things looked heading south. We chose the direct route sticking to US101 and not taking any of the coast road as it is just too slow. We preferred to spend time back in San Francisco. We left Eureka in the low 50's (10℃) and by the time we were approaching our destination the temperature had climbed to 89F (almost 30℃)! In San Rafael it is low 80's (mis 20's℃) but across the Bay in San Francisco it is only 63 (16℃).

We then checked out the local Ferry Terminal in preparation for tomorrow - we hope there will be enough parking places to give just one. Next we set off fort the vista points on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge to get a view looking back into the Bay. It seems that half the city was trying to do the same thing and the traffic was congested to say the least. We then headed over the Bridge ($6/4) southbound (free northbound) which is well worth it. 

We were aiming for the famous hairpin-bend Lombard Street and soon had to join another long queue of like-minded people. The lady in front was not quite in control of her massive SUV (from Idaho!) and I had to give her lots of space. We inched up the 27% gradient to the Stop at the top and then launched ourselves very gingerly down the eight hairpin bends. There is a better picture here. On Youtube you can watch it happen - I like the Poodle driving the Prius - very San Francisco! 

Even our journey to Lombard street had taken us up and down gradients that had set the pulse racing - they seemingly invite the cars to defy gravity and you feel like you're about to tumble down the hillside and smash into pieces at the bottom. At each intersection the road is scarred where vehicles have grounded out either on 'landing' or by cresting a ridge too quickly. Not for the easily scared! This will give you the best idea of what it's like!

We then drove down to the Fisherman's Wharf area as we knew stuff would be happening and we could enjoy the sun and get a drink - and later something to eat. We managed to grab an on-street meter and with the remaining time it had paid only 50 Cents to take it to 7pm when free parking began. A cheap way to see the city.

We had a beer on Pier 39 watching the crowds and the sun - but missed the eclipse as we didn't know to look out for it. We headed to the many fish restaurants of Fisherman's Wharf and decided on Nick's Lighthouse. I enjoyed the fresh Bay Prawns and Scallops with fettucini in an Alfredo Sauce - wonderful, complete with salad or soup for $14 - less than 10! Amazing.

We then walked around the area enjoying the many shops and stalls offering a plentitude of tourist paraphernalia and all kinds of art from the cheap kitch to the unaffordable. We also revisited Ghirardelli's to stock on chocolate (not for me you understand!) and then headed back to the car. The journey home offered the chance to stop on both the south and north sides of the Bridge for some more photos the best of which are available here.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Norman on

Reading this blog, even I am beginning to have my appetite wetted for a visit States-side - and I have alwasy been very much European in my outlook. Delighted it is still going so well. Love to you both, Norman.

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