Day 58 – San Francisco

People keep asking us why we don’t stay longer in one place and why we seem to be moving so fast. Well, the fact is that 1: it is generally quite expensive to stay in the more ‘interesting’ places so we can’t afford to stay too long, 2: we are not very ‘cultured’ so we don’t really go to museums, galleries and the like unless they are free or very interesting, thus saving a lot of time, 3: we both get bored fairly easily, 4: you can only see everything once so there is no point in hanging about once you’ve seen it and 5: this isn’t really a traditional holiday – if we want to sit next to a pool and relax we can do it for much cheaper in South Africa! Which is why, on our 2nd day in SF, we took things quite easy as we had more time to spend than normal. On our first day in SF we saw quite a few things and walked a lot so on the second day we got going fairly late as we didn’t have that much planned, and we were more interested in just walking around and experiencing the city, which is sometimes hard to do in a day or two anywhere. We once again got off at Embarcadero and got on the F streetcar to the Castro Theatre in the Castro district. The driver was quite insane and talked incessantly to himself and anyone else who would listen. We took a few pictures of the theatr and then strolled around Castro and into the Mission Dolores Park for some good views of the city. I’d read about a Taqueria, Cancun Taqueria I wanted to try so we made our way into the Mission district, which is very colourful with murals on many of the walls. We found the taqueria in Mission Street, between 18th and 19th and I had the biggest burrito you can imagine, stuffed with carne asada, rice, beans, avocado, cheese and sour cream. It was about as big as my forearm and about a third of the way through I was pretty much full. Unfortunately I persevered and finished about 95% of it, and as burritos seem to always do (is it just me?), I kept feeling fuller and fuller for the next few hours – not the greatest way to be walking around the city!
We walked around Mission for a bit and then caught a bus toward City Hall, walked up Van Ness where we turned off into O’Farrell and saw the most amazing collection of vintage cars ever! Check out this Talbot-Lago site – we saw this one, a 1938 Speciale Teardrop Coupe, which I imagine must be very rare! We had to walk down to Union Square to go and have a look at it, even though there isn’t much to see and it is full of tourists! From there we caught to cable car to Lombard Street, which would have been a much better experience if the cable car wasn’t so full you couldn’t see a damn thing out of the windows! The old style cable cars you see in movies are incredibly popular and people queue up to get on them, even though they are rather expensive at $7 a go (though our Muni passes took care of that!). The main idea with the cable cars seem to be to get on at the front or hang off the sides of it for the ‘proper’ experience, but we got ushered into the middle and therefore couldn’t see too much of the hills of San Francisco. It got us to Lombard Street though, which is famous for being the most winding road (or something like that) and cars queue up to drive down it. It is quite a sight to see, but I probably got better pictures of it the previous day from the Coit Tower. We walked down Lombard Street along with a gazillion other people and had a coffee at a café at the bottom. I was still suffering from being over full, but couldn’t complain too much as it was self-inflicted!
From Lombard Street we walked towards the waterfront, where we got the F streetcar back to Embarcadero and Brian had a burger at famous Gott’s Roadside. The burger was good and we sat outside on the patio and had a beer in the sun, while tiny birds tried to steal Brian’s food. From there we caught the train back to MacArthur – rush-hour and quite a squeeze, but not a patch on London’s rush-hour! Back in Oaklands we decided to explore a bit further and found a bar that we quite liked, The Avenue, so we had a few drinks there. I saw another bar/restaurant on the walk up the road, so typically I insisted that we have a drink there on the way back. The place is called the Iron Pan, and it is a bit more poncy with craft beer, and we probably should have stayed in The Avenue, though it wasn’t a bad experience all in all. After that we just had an early-ish night – I think!

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