- Follow @contiki_us
Not a member yet? Sign up
22nd Nov 2013
Part 3: The Streets of San Francisco
Day 5: San Francisco
A freezing cold start to the morning makes it incredibly difficult to get out of bed, but San Francisco is calling! As we make our way towards the beautiful city of San Fran, Jack our Tour Manager explains his love for the city and where it all began.
There is some incredible scenery to be seen from the window of the coach as we make our way through some cute little towns with San Francisco themed songs pumping in the background. We stop for a quick bite of lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. Fresh sourdough with chowder or tomato soup are the perfect way to take the chill out of the day. After a quick lunch, we hopped back into the coach headed for the Golden Gate Bridge.
We passed through various iconic parts of San Francisco including Haight street, Union Square, the classic cable cars, Lombard street, little Italy and thousands of amazing restaurants. San Francisco is known as the culinary Mecca and you’d need at least a week here to try a quarter of the incredible eateries.
San Francisco is full of many homeless people but this isn’t something to worry about. We didn’t once feel unsafe exploring. We jumped on a boat for a ride around the bay. It was a little bit windy but totally worth it. It took us under the Golden Gate Bridge and we relaxed as the sun set behind it.
We stayed in Hotel Whitcomb for the nights we were in San Francisco. With the night time free to wander and explore, we found ourselves delving into the restaurants to dive deeper into the culture of the city. For our first night, we decide to check out The Stinky Rose, a vampire’s worst nightmare. It boasts itself as the most garlicky restaurant with the caption “Would you like a side of food with your garlic?” on the menu. After working up the courage we even tried the garlic ice-cream (which was surprisingly good!).
San Francisco has the most incredible atmosphere. It’s hard not to fall in love with this place.
Day 6: Bikes and Bridges
Day 6 began nice and early as we made our way to the Farmers Markets. The F-line (one of the easiest modes of transport we’ve ever experienced) took us straight there. The streetcars are from all over the world meaning that no two streetcars are the same. After arriving we headed straight for the pier and sampled as many different foods as we could get our hands on. Fresh fruits, juices, ice-creams, coffees and so much more were on offer to envelope our tastebuds. Brooke discovered a new favourite, the dark chocolate coffee brittle – definitely a must-try.
The markets were incredibly entertaining with musicians everywhere, a delicious selection of foods and nifty little arts and crafts on display (the perfect souvenirs!).
After a stroll around the market we were off to Blazing Saddles to meet the rest of the group for a bike ride to the Golden Gate Bridge. Mary, our local Tour Guide, lead the group to some of the most spectacular viewpoints around San Francisco. We visited one of the most expensive real-estate locations where a Victorian style house can be all yours for a small price of $4million. We were informed that the entire area is built upon landfill, which would crumble if an earthquake were to occur. With a quick rest and revive at the Museum of Fine Arts, the group was ready to make their way across the 2.7km Golden Gate Bridge. Don’t be fooled – this isn’t the easiest of rides with a steady incline most of the way. After we triumphed the last of the inclines, it was smooth and easy sailing across the beautiful landmark. We were infinite with the wind in our hair a magnificent view and the most superb weather. Over 3 hours later, we returned with weakened thighs.
Next stop – Union Square for a bagel and some shopping. It is a nice place to chill out and take in San Francisco. There are some great cafes and restaurants for a quick bite and some cheap clothing stores for those wanting to fill the shopping void.
That evening we met our group for a walk around China Town. It was a great spot to visit and Jack kept us informed and entertained on the history of the area. Portion sizes in America are out of this world, luckily we were hungry from our bike tour.
The night ended with a bit of dancing followed by a night of solid sleep.