We arrived in San Francisco at night, after a long day driving Highway 1. We were staying at our friends house in the cute town of Alameda in Bay Area. That night we ate out at a super yummy local Thai restaurant and drove through a crazy Christmassy street where every single house was heavily decorated with all types of lights and garments.
In the morning we took the ferry across the Bay to the pier near Market Street. It was exciting to arrive at such a spectacular city from the sea!
When we stepped out of the boat, we walked through the newly renovated Port of San Francisco, which was housing an abundance of appetizing looking restaurants and interesting little boutiques.
We hopped on the tram towards Castro, passing by Market Street. Quite a long way up but worth the look.
We had a little wander around Castro and went up and up and up towards Haights and the quirky shops and crack head kids. What a weird place. We grabbed a bite on Haights St, and headed up towards Amoeba where once again we got so overwhelmed with the quantity of vinyls that we didn't buy a single one! We then walked towards Hayes and the Painted Ladies. After the obligatory Full House picture we headed towards Mission but it was getting dark and we ended up in the dodgy cut throat area, so walked back down Market St to catch the last ferry to Alameda. Looooong day, sore legs.
On the second day we got up bright and early and drove to Alameda pier to catch the ferry back to San Francisco.
We decided to take a right turn on Market Street and headed up towards North Beach, where you can find some pretty sweet beatnik bookshops and cafes. After having lunch and a browse in the amazing City Lights bookstore, we wandered around and ended up on the infamous Lombard Street, invaded by tourists and a long queue of cars. Going up there was a bit of a challenge for me and my heavy belly! But the view was so worth it!
We then headed down towards Fisherman's Wharf and explored a little, although this place again was very touristic and a bit overwhelming.
We stopped at the Musée Mécanique, a museum of old fashioned creepy wonders, for a little round of games!
We then rushed towards the embarcadero to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. And off on the boat we go!
It was magical to see the city becoming distant with the sunset getting ready to tuck itself in.
We arrived on the island of Alcatraz, ready for our Ai Weiwei guided tour. We walked around the almost derelict buildings, feeling the ghosts of the past looking at us while it was getting dark. Spooky! We then visited the main prison building, such a fascinating history. I got into a cell and didn't feel so comfortable at all! Blake got locked in a solitary confinement cell for a couple of minutes in total darkness, which sounded terrifying and claustrophobic!
Around 6 we left the island on our ferry and grabbed a pizza in Fisherman's Wharf before catching the last ferry to Alameda.
In the morning we decided to head off to the Mission district, which we didn't have the time to visit the previous days. We had a few places in mind on Valencia St. and took it easy, just walking around, grabbing a coffee and browsing some nice shops. We then went back to wave goodbye to our friends Laurie, Barrett & Baby Romy, not without a little tear!
Our plan was to catch sunset on the Golden Gate Bridge but we got stuck in a very heavy traffic and missed our chance! Damn! In the end we saw it by night, which is a different experience, but not the best to take good photos.
As it got late, we drove towards Lake Tahoe and stopped in the Napa Valley for the night.