Getting closer

If you’re going to San Francisco be sure to wear… some warm clothes

How stupid was I thinking the warm clothes were now permanently stowed away at the bottom of my rucksack, ready to be worn again in Patagonia – arriving in San Francisco we were greeted with cold winds and fog!! (to be expected at the this time of year – I am told!)

On arrival, we wrapped up warm and got our bearings, walking around the different districts, Japantown, SOMA, The Misson and China town – the hills are a killer… after grazing on dim sums from China town, which were delicious and ridiculously cheap, we headed for a few drinks and then onto Cat Heads, a BBQ place near to where we were staying!

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Cat Heads – Pulled Pork, Beef brisket, Corn cakes and Macaroni and Cheese, washed down with a few beers

 

The next day, we were greeted by a 5am alarm call – as we hadn’t booked tickets in advance for Alcatraz, the only hope of us getting one was to be the first in the queue for the 50 they keep aside for same day purchase – after hurrying down to the docks, we were 18th in line  – we just had to stand in line and wait for 2 hours for them to open! After purchasing our tickets, we were put on the first boat out to the island…

One of the cells
One of the cells – look how wrapped up I am!

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Al Capones Cell
Al Capones Cell

It was worth the 5am start, the audio tour was excellent. No one can tell the Alcatraz tale like the men who actually lived it. The captivating audio tour brought history alive through the actual voices of the correctional officers and inmates who lived on the island during the infamous Federal Penitentiary era.

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View of San Fran from Alcatraz

After the tour, we headed over to the waterfront, to sample to famous clam chowder served in a sourdough bread roll – it was delicious…

Clam Chowder
Clam Chowder

On the waterfront we were also lucky to see a whole host of seals – just casually whiling away their Saturday morning on the docks…

Seals galore
Seals galore

Walking along the front, and the Golden Gate bridge getting larger and coming into focus every step we took, we ended up on the bridge…  We walked to the middle of the bridge, right to where the suspension cables come to the their lowest point..

Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Getting closer
Getting closer

From here we walked to find a watering hole, in the shape of a wine bar, here we sampled some of the local wines, Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandel’s – delicious! After chatting to the barmaid (who happened to be from Poland), about our travels, where we’re from, where we’re going next etc – on getting the bill, she said they were on the house… well me and Tom were flabbergasted, we didn’t know what to say – thanks of course, $50 worth of wine for free!

We had plans to meet up with the son of a lady we stayed with in Salt Lake City, as he (Nathan) had recently moved to San Fran, so he could show us the sites, well the nightlife anyway! We headed to Japantown, to a place called Shabusen where we had read good reviews – it was a different dining experience than we’re used to – they brought all the ingredients to the table raw and then we cooked them ourselves in a boiling broth (like a ramen!) and added our own seasonings, chili and spices – washed down with Saki and a number of beers – it was delicious…

Beef and Prawns
Beef and Prawns

After here Nathan took us to a place renown for its rum cocktails, the name fails me, we ordered copious rounds of Navy Grog – strong cocktails with lots of navy rum in it – anyway after the free wine, the Saki, beers and Navy Grogs, combined with the 5am start, we had to call it a night… but it was a good one!

Needless to say it was hangovers all round on Sunday morning….

One thought on “If you’re going to San Francisco be sure to wear… some warm clothes”

  1. hey a bit different from the flower power visit i had in 1970, where we stayed with a bunch of pan handling hippies, pottered round the remnants of haight ashbury and smoked our first spliffs……
    It all sounds magic, brilliant time of your lives! keep the blogs coming. ring me tommy. gutted that i missed your call. love to u both xxxxx

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