We had a fantastic Christmas celebrating with friends in the beautiful and hilly San Francisco. I’ve not visited this charming city before and thoroughly enjoyed the warmer weather, and bohemian feel. We packed in a lot on our trip and acted as proper tourists. We spent some time browsing Union Square, and admiring the massive Christmas tree and Ice rink, before having a tipple or two in a local pub. We also had chance to eat lots of sourdough and cheese!
Before I left the UK I visited a cheese cave in London and had a bit of a cheese picnic, so stepping into the lovely ‘Say cheese’ reminded me off this and some of my favourite shops in Burford. We also found some chutney – something which seems to be lacking in the USA! This made a marvellous supper after our enormous Christmas feast. We explored Fisherman’s wharf and Pier 39, and enjoyed the nostalgic touristy shops with barrels of chocolate, candy floss and doughnuts. It reminded us a bit of Lands end. Excitingly at the end of the pier is a sea lion colony. They have pitched themselves onto some floating piers and happily seem to have set up shop. We had a trip on one of the older trams – there’s a whole collection of heritage trams which are wonderfully nostalgic. This follows the F line on the Muni and takes you up to the ferry terminal, that provides a pretty walk along the Embarcadero.
Of course a trip to San Fran wouldn’t be complete with seeing its famous bridge, its just as pretty in real life. It takes years for workers to continuously paint it! and it is much much larger than I expected. We rented some bikes and cycled our way up to the bridge and across it. This in itself is an experience as its very bustly with some serious lycra types taking no prisoners! We cycled over to Sausalito and jumped on the ferry back.
We had some time to explore golden gate park where we saw some hummingbirds, we also visited San Fran zoo which was awesome, One of the best zoos I’ve seen in a while. the penguin enclosure is brilliant and there wasn’t any mopy lions. The lemur exhibit is also really good, its well worth a trip, especially with a picnic.
We fitted in some walking too, a stomp up Mnt Diablo was interesting – the weather had turned and to say it was a little windy is a bit of an understatement! But the views were spectacular, We also trudged up Mt Sutro and Tank hill which gave lovely views of this hilly city.
Before we left we also fitted in a day trip to Santa Cruz and Carmel (more on that soon), as well as visiting the Castro and enjoying the stripy crossings. We had a lot of amazing food and ice cream. We are looking forward to returning to visit Alcatraz and continuing to explore route 51, as well as visiting some local wineries! Needless to say this resulted in a LOT of pictures! Enjoy :-)