[Warning: Today’s is a big post as i had a big day covering plenty of k’s around sunny San Francisco]
It was another beautiful, clear day in San Francisco as I got up early to catch the first ferry of the day to Alcatraz Island.
After watching a brief documentary on the history of the Island I took the self-guided audio tour through the cell-blocks.
There were some amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the exercise yard.
And San Francisco skyline from outside the Administration Building.
Now these are the Island’s main inhabitants.
After returning to the mainland I wandering along the waterfront to Pier 39 (home of clam-chowder in a sourdough bowl).
Boudin Sourdough Bakery (where they have been using the same starter culture since the beginning of the gold-rush in 1849).
To Ghirardelli Square and their delicious sundaes and shakes. Ghirardelli chocolates were founded right here in San Francisco but can now be found all over the world (as it is now owned by Lindt & Sprungli of Lindt fame).
I then hiked up the hills to Lombard St, between Hyde and Leavenworth St, and it’s famous 8-hairpin block. There are signs everywhere warning off large vehicles, yet only a few years ago some high-school students on their prom-night managed to convince their Limousine driver to attempt to drive down the (in)famous block for $400. Needless to say it didn’t end well, with a crane having to be called in to lift it to safety.
On the way back to the hostel I wandered through Little Italy (where they were very excited about the World Cup).
San Francisco is an amazingly diverse and multicultural town, where you can go from Little Russia, to Little Italy, then Chinatown in only a couple of blocks.
Tomorrow I plan to head to the painted ladies of Full House fame and tick off some foodie destinations including Bi-Rite Creamery and Smitten Ice Cream (and their custom liquid-nitrogen ice-cream machines) – yum. I may also join a walking tour of the Mission (Mexican) and Castro (GLBT) areas in the afternoon. If there is any time left I may head down Market St and check out some of the big-name shops including Levi’s, something you have to do seeing that they were founded here in town.