United States

San Francisco County

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  • Day1

    Jeudi, 23 novembre 2017
    Bien reposés, nous organisons le programme pour notre Thanksgiving. Départ en direction d'Union Square, la Bahnhofstrasse de SF, superbement décoré pour les fêtes et agrémenté d'une patinoire. (Ça fait quand même bizarre avec 18°) Il nous faut en premier un pass pour les transports publics, en semaine une bagatelle, un jour férié, pas évident. Munis du précieux sésame, nous testons sans attendre le cable-car, trop bien! La topographie de San Francisco est spéciale, ça monte et ça descend sans cesse. Les points de vue sont nombreux et les quartiers très différents. Après Chinatown, nous allons voir d'abord le très chic Russian Hill et la Lombard St, la rue la plus tortueuse du monde. Descendus aux quais, nous traversons The Cannery, l'ancienne conserverie Del Monte, transformée en boutiques et restaurants, pour aller voir les Historic Ships. C'est fermé aujourd'hui, dommage. La promenade le long des Piers, tous transformés en restos, nous donne faim. Le Boudin Bakers Hall nous sert la spécialité local, de la soupe dans un pain. C'est excellent! Un bus nous monte au Coit Tower, d'où on jouit d'une vue sur toute la baie de San Francisco. Nous nous contentons du coup d’œil depuis le parking, la tour est fermée: Thanksgiving. La descente par les Filbert Steps est bucolique, nichée dans une coulée verte. Le tramway nous amène, en longeant la mer, à la station du cable-car de California St. Il ne nous reste qu' à traverser Chinatown avec ses étranges échoppes pour arriver à notre hôtel.Read more

  • Day14

    When we got back to the shore, we walked along Embarcadero to Pier 39. This is a really lively place, full of independent shops and restaurants and having arrived at lunchtime we stopped for lunch at Chowder Pier 39 and had clam chowders, one red and one white. They were served inside individual loaves of bread, were very tasty and we had a good view of some of the waterway from sitting outside as well as some of the local wildlife. There were the usual strutting pigeons and starlings, (which Wikipedia informs me are an introduced resident bird) looking for any scraps they could find. There were two levels to the pier and steps, escalators or lifts in various places so that the upper level was not continuous but broken up into sections. There were lots of very helpful information boards telling the storey of the pier, but with humour so they were not the usual dry words to try to absorb. In essence Warren Simmons was responsible for the construction of the pier in 1977 creating the space and promising rewards to individuals if they would be up and running by the deadline in 1978, so it cost him over $2,000,000 but it was ready and has been flourishing since. All of the businesses are run by San Franciscan residents and it is policy to keep out all the big chains, the only exception was an ice cream parlour and that was a chain that the owner sold, but kept the San Francisco parlours separate to run as a individual.
    There was a large stall with all sorts of fresh fruit, that I would have loved to be able to buy, but having just eaten and with the temperature climbing, it would not have survived the day well.
    We came across the sea lions by accident, having no idea that they are a well known draw for visitors (no, we did no research whatsoever!). They had pontoons aplenty to sun themselves on, but all seemed set on having the same few places and were noisily competing for space, pushing each other back into the water.
    We could not miss the opportunity of taking photos of the Christmas shop, though Christmas songs in August are a bit odd!
    There was a two tier hand made Viennese carousel which had been ordered directly from Italy but the order neglected to specify the electrics be made to UL standards, so it was completely rewired in America and doubled the cost.
    Read more

  • Day13

    It was all on the freeway until we got into the city itself, not my favourite experience! At one point a late signal for an exit caused us to lose one of the bikes, and Eric had to guide them back to us. Once we were all back together again, we crossed the bay on the John McCarthy bridge and amongst all the other tourists wended our way up to the designated viewpoint. We were directed to bike parking (on gravel, not ideal!) and walked to the top of the path to admire the view of the Golden Gate, which is NOT golden by any stretch of the imagination! A lovely rust preventing red paint covers its surface, but impressive all the same. The bay is vast, and it was blue and mostly clear giving us a view of Alcatraz with boats and yachts scudding across the water.
    Having had a free meal at the farewell dinner in Las Vegas, and realising that neither Rui nor Eric get meal allowances while on the trip, we asked if they would like to join us for dinner, which they did, and we had a good meal in Original Joe's restaurant.
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  • Day14

    We thought we had seen all of Pier 39, so walked on to Fishermans Wharf which continued the shopping theme, though with bigger stores. We did have a look at some shops claiming sales on Levi's jeans, but weren't tempted to buy. We wanted to ride the cable car from end to end, so bought tickets, despite the warning that it would take an hour before we would get on board and stood in the queue and waited. We were entertained by a busker who was having to work hard for his money, and John managed to film two of the cars being turned round ready to set off again (now on Facebook). Finally when it was our turn, our conductor (a guy with waist length dreadlocks) entertained us on the ride by including information about the streets in a sing song rhythmic monologue, including all the photographic opportunities by prefacing them with "for the paparazzi". The car was crowded, so we didn't get to take the photos, but got off at the last stop and walked back up through Union Square and Chinatown to our hotel. We walked through the Portsmouth Square Park opposite the hotel where there were a lot of Chinese people playing board and card games, in the morning it was used by people for tai chi. It's a largely paved area with green areas and looks very inviting.
    Neither of us fancied a large meal so after showers we had snacks (humus for John, fruit for me) and coffee in the hotel bar.
    If you want to know how cable cars work (we did) here is a link: https://www.streetcar.org/wheels-motion/cable-cars-work/
    Read more

  • Day15

    The day was quite cloudy and cool and traffic light as we left the city for a last photo opportunity of the bridge from Baker Beach. It had also been the site of a gun battery, but there was not much info available. I took the somewhat random photo of the herons as there had been so many over the sea, but it didn't really work. The houses we saw on the way continued the very individual styles and mix of old and new and mostly low level. Where there were buildings of similar style, they were frequently painted different colours. As we neared Baker Beach, there was a row of individual identical old houses and the what looked like barracks, so we guessed that they were the officers houses.Read more

  • Day1

    Team Denmark’s 3 year anniversary in California! We got up early and walked down to the Ferry building stopping off at Philz coffee on the way. We walked around there for a bit and checked out the shops inside. Then we walked back up to Market street and saw loads of people queuing for the cable car so obviously we did the same. It took well over an hour but it was so worth it. We took it in turns to hang off the side which was so fun although phil insisted on hanging onto my dungarees. We got the cable car to the end of the line catching glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge through the super steep streets. We got off at Fisherman’s Wharf and had Clam Chowder (had to be done) and some local beer that went down too easily. I went to check out a souvenir shop and was met with the largest wall of magnets I’ve ever seen. I got two obviously. We walked down to the piers which are really touristy but fun and stopped to see the sea lions on pier 39. We thought we’d get away from the crowds for a bit so walked to Telegraph Hill up the steepest steps so we could go up Coit Tower. The hike was worth it even if we were out of breath at the top as the views were incredible, totally helped with it being a sunny day. After we’d finished taking about 80 photos of the same skyline we walked back to the hotel to dump our stuff and then found Mikeller and drank some interesting beers my favourite was one with Raspberry, Ginger and Lime. We walked to a Japanese restaurant called Akiko afterwards where we got the last seats and had amazing Sushi before walking (uphill) back to the hotel to pass outRead more

  • Day2

    Woke up really early thanks to lingering jet lag but it meant we were up and out really early which was good. We got coffee and bagels and walked down to pier 33 to get the ferry over to Alcatraz. Obviously I was thrilled to be on a boat even if it was only for 15 minutes. Alcatraz is a massive shithole but I guess that’s the point. I loved doing the audio tour around the prison as you got to hear from real inmates and wardens. It also had amazing views of San Francisco. When we got back we decided to get the bus to Mission but screwed it up a bit as we didn’t check where to get off. In short we got off far too soon and we’re left wondering where to go. Mission is also a shithole but in a charming way. That said I was reluctant to pull out my lonely planet and look like a massive tourist so snuck down a side street to have a look at a map. I soon realised we’d got off a bit prematurely and had quite a walk to get to La Taqueria which is meant to do amazing burritos. I was getting hungrier by the minute and obviously grumpy too so imagine my disappointment when we realised it was shut on Mondays. Thankfully there was a really nice cafe across the road which wouldn’t have been out of place in Brighton where we had pot pies and I had a slice of pumpkin pie which was lush. Both washed down with two local beers to make up for the disappointment. We then went to this place called Urban Putt which is an indoor miniature golf course inside an old mortuary. It was so much fun! All the holes where really elaborately put together. It was like some sort of Tim Burton theme park. We could drink beer while we went round too which was a total bonus. My highlight was obviously heating Phil. We jumped back on a bus and got off at the right stop this time and then made a last minute decision to jump on a cable car to go up to a restaurant a bit further up the hill there were hardly any queues and it was so relaxing going on when it’s dark and much less crowded. We went to a restaurant called The Stinking Rose which had come recommended but really shouldn’t have because the food was overpriced and overrated. Gutted!Read more

  • Day3

    Another early start thanks to jet lag but we had to be up to go and pick up our rental car. Phil managed to negotiate his way out of the city centre like a boss (in a red Ford Fiesta) and I did some semi helpful navigating. We had decided to head to Monterey as we did have time to go to Big Sur (it was going to take 2.5 hours to get to Monterey and we had to have the car back with petrol in it by 6) We hit the road (freeway, highway?) and found some crap local radio stations that weren’t playing 1. Country 2. Mexican music or 3. Christian rock. We got to Monterey just before midday and went to fisherman’s wharf where we had lunch. Phil finally had some oysters and I had scallops wrapped in bacon. We felt stuffed so walked along the seafront to Cannery Row which was just a load of touristy shops and an aquarium that was charging $50 to get in. I’d want to see a great white for that money so we decided to give it a swerve and got in the car to go down to Carmel which was stunning. The sun was out and we walked along the white sandy beach dipping our toes in the freezing Pacific Ocean. We didn’t have much time there so we had to brush the sand off our toes after about half an hour and head back to San Francisco. Because we are so clever and organised we made in back with half an hour to spare so we rewarded ourselves with a flight of beers in this cool little Japanese place. After a quick pit stop at the hotel we decided to have an American McDonald’s (after we checked out Target) and it was not quite the experience we were after. This place felt shady, like we’d stepped into a back alley branch in the Bronx not one on the main Street in San Francisco. It looked like it had inherited all the cast offs from old McDonald’s branches in the 90s and felt a little shady. We smashed up our Big Mac meals, inducing some mild indigestion and got our of there ASAP. Turns out London Road Maccas isn’t so bad after all. In order to make ourselves feel normal again we went back to Mikeller and had a drink before doing our usual pass out before 10pmRead more

  • Day5

    Another early morning but for a good reason as we were going to Yosemite today! We got picked up just after 6 and we’re driven with a few others out into the mountains. I had to persuade Phil to wear his waterproof which since there was 100% chance of rain seemed sensible. It took about 4 hours with a stop to get to the giant Sequoias. Fortunately the tour bus had umbrellas which kept some of the rain off but we were pretty soaked within about 5 minutes. We saw the huge trees, some had fallen over and one had a passageway carved through it and took a load of photos before walking up to the bus. It was a shame that the weather was so bad as the bus windows kept steaming up so we couldn’t see as much of the scenery as we were going through but the visibility wasn’t great anyway. We stopped again at Yosemite Falls which were pretty amazing especially with all the rain and walked through a few trails before giving up on being outside and getting a coffee. By now my DMs were totally soaked and I think I had the start of trench foot. We got back on the bus and worked our way back out of the park and onto the road back to San Francisco. We got to go over the Bay Bridge and our guide stopped on Treasure Island so we could get an amazing view of the city at night from across the water. We were the first to be dropped off which was amazing and we quickly got out of our wet things and headed out for a couple of drinks and some food We went to bed at 11pm!Read more

  • Day97

    Be sure to wear flowers in your hair🌻

    Seit wir unsere Reise begonnen hatten, haben wir selten ein Ziel mit schönen sommerlichen Temperaturen erreicht. Heute sollte es soweit sein. Kalifornien, San Francisco, wir kommen. Nur noch wenige Meter. Der Klassiker dröhnt schon längst aus den Boxen...
    Die Golden Gate Bridge!
    Arghhhh was ein Moment!!! 😘Einfach nur übertrieben Cool. Die für uns schönste Brücke der Welt!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco County, Comté de San Francisco

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