A Clear Day in San Francisco

Trip Start Jan 15, 2009
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Trip End Mar 07, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, January 17, 2009

I have always heard that San Francisco in the winter is cold, damp and foggy.  Well, today was apparently an exception to the rule....It was a beautiful, clear, sunny, warm day in San Francisco.  Although this is a quandary for the native San Franciscans, it was great for sight-seeing!

I rode the BART train into the city and then caught the historic F Line Trolley Car to take me to Fisherman's Warf.  As I rode along, I almost expected to be caught-up in a Rice-A-Roni Advertisement!  My first stop at Fisherman's Warf was the Red & White Bay Cruise terminal, where I boarded the Royal Prince for a 1 hour cruise to the Golden Gate Bridge and then around Alcatraz Island.  The bridge is very impressive close up.  The weather and the sea salt are so harsh on the Golden Gate Bridge, that they constantly paint it.  When they finish painting it from one end to the other, they turn around and start painting it all over again.  As we sailed under the bridge, the tour director pointed out Robin Williams house perched on the hill looking down at the Golden Gate Bridge.  It must be tough waking up every morning and having coffee looking out at that amazing view!  After a loop under the bridge, we passed by the city of Sausiledo and Angel Island.  The guide told of that Angel Island is San Francisco's version of Ellis Island in New York.  It was the first place that immigrants, mostly from China, came to when the immigrated to the US in the last century.  The final leg of our cruise was a loop around famous Alcatraz Island, sometimes called "The Rock".  It was closed years ago, and is now open for tours.  I may check it out on my way back through San Francisco in March.

After the cruise, I had a nice lunch at the Pier Market Seafood Restaurant on Pier 39.  They have windows that look out over the floating docks where dozens of California Sea Lions laze in the sun.  If you ever eat here, I highly recommend the New England clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.  After lunch, I sat in the sun and listened to the street performers for a while.  I have included a short clip of one fellow who sang some pretty good blues music.  The clip is from an old blues song called "I got my mojo working".

Next, it was time for a motorized trolley tour of downtown San Francisco.  We rode through Little Italy and Chinatown.  We passed, by the tallest building in San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid. We climbed up and down the hilly, winding streets of the city, but we didn't try to navigate Lombard Street-the most crooked street in America.  This street winds back and at such crazy angles, that the trolley is incapable of making the turns.  I did get a photo of it from a distance though.

After riding around in trains, trolleys and boats, I decided it was time to get some exercise.  I rented a bike on Taylor Street from Bay City Bikes and rode along the bay front towards the Presidio.  The views were breathtaking.  I ended up in Golden Gate Park at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge where I had a cup of hot chocolate at the "Warming Hut" at Crissy Field and watched the sun set over the city.  As I rode back towards Fisherman's Warf I saw the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was the perfect end to a clear day in San Francisco.
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Comments

rockmtgoodguy
rockmtgoodguy on

Jeff's Welcome to the Best Coast
Jeff:
I loved the pictures of San Francisco an Alcatraz!
I especially enjoyed the street musicians! California - the locals call it the 'Best Coast', I call it the land of 'fruits and nuts'!
Odd, that you stopped a Alcatraz on the way to Australia. You know Australia was originally a British Penal Colony. You might want to mention when you are talking to a pretty locals woman with a 'killer accent' over some cooked kangaroo on the barbie -- they love that!

I am looking forward to the sea turtles photos and some pictures of Australia.
All the Best, 'Turtle Hunter'!
Your frined from Denver,
Craig

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