Where do I even start with San Francisco? Amazing! The only way to describe it! I guess the beginning would be best place to start from.
We arrived into San Fran around lunchtime on Tuesday after a long drive and a short city tour (well part of the city), we stopped for lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf and had a quick wander around. There were so many people and it was very touristy, but still a very cool spot for tat shopping (souvenirs).
An hour or so later, we were back on the coach touring the rest of the city and learning about San Fran’s very long and interesting history. Particularly how the 1906 earthquake completely changed the face of the city.
The hotel we stayed at in San Francisco was called Hotel Whitcomb on Market Street, it was a very central location however it was kind of a ‘dodgy’ part of the street and you definitely don’t want to walk it alone at night.
Our first night in San Fran included one of my favourite activities! As a part of the Contiki Tour we were treated to a two hour Catamaran Cruise on the Bay! With a glass of wine in hand, we sailed passed Alcatraz getting a close up view of the rock. We then continued sailing all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge AND went underneath it! Not sure how many people can say they have sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, but I have and it was awesome! The cold wind and sprinkling rain couldn’t dull my excitement to be on that boat, sailing in the Bay. I soaked up every moment and I will never forget how elated and grateful I felt to be there throughout the cruise.
The night just kept getting better as well. After the cruise we went to Bubba Gump’s for dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf! I had fried shrimp for dinner followed by an amazing Choc Chip fudge dessert, not mentioning how very tipsy I was feeling from the two glasses of wine on the cruise as well as an awesome Bubba Gump’s cocktail (shh…).
In true Contiki style, more drinking at a local bar followed dinner. To be honest, I cannot remember the name of the bar but it was a lot of fun, and I spent time chatting with quite a few people I hadn’t had the chance to get to know very well yet. It was a quiet night yet it ended up as quite a late night, getting back to my hotel room around 2am.
The late night wasn’t a problem, as the next day we didn’t have to meet until 11.15am the next morning (I’ve never been so excited for a sleep in! Those who’ve done tours will understand). For my first full day in San Fran, I did a bike tour with some of the other Contiki crew. Getting there involved being squished on a tram for 20+ minutes… imagine the clothes in my suitcase that’s so full I have to sit on it to get it to close… that’s how I felt on that tram, but its all apart of the experience!
It was exciting to be on a bike again, it had been such a long time since riding one, but as the say goes… you never forget how to ride a bike. We got to see some very beautiful parts of San Fran during the tour including … and all of the waterside homes. The most exciting part was riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping to take photos along the way. It was a foggy day, but that’s true San Francisco and it was a fantastic experience!
I had a pretty casual afternoon down by Fisherman’s Wharf. A few of us got In n Out burgers for lunch, because why not? They are awesome! The tram ride back to the hotel was just a jam-packed as the first trip, but it was somehow much worse and the announcements warning of pickpockets on the trams was just the icing on the cake.
Our second night in San Fran took us to China Town, which is apparently the largest China Town in the world (other than China of course). We had a buffet dinner with great conversation, then the party moved to an Irish bar around the corner for drinks! The bartender got so excited to hear all of the Australian accents coming in that he played “Land Down Under” over the sound system and I got showed up by my lovely British friend because she new more words to the song than I did! It was another great night and we may or may not have met some very cute British boys at the bar that night 😉
Day three in San Fran! I got to see the Painted Ladies on the hill at Alamo Square and then the rest of the day was ‘me time’. I got a manicure and pedicure and had a look around the amazing shops at Union Square and overall has a lovely day. We said goodbye to a few more of our new tour friends that afternoon which was really sad, but I’m so grateful to have met such wonderful people on this trip.
The nightspot we went to on our last night in San Fran was probably my favourite! A piano duelling bar! There were two people taking requests for song on the piano, taking turns playing and they were two of the funniest and most entertaining people I have ever seen! Could have sat there all night just watching them and the rest of the crowd interacting with them. I want to go back!
From what I got to see San Francisco was amazing place and I barely got to scratch the surface. It’s one of the cities that would take a lifetime to truly explore and I so happy I was able to experience part of it!
I could probably have kept writing and writing but I risk boring you completely with all of the tiny details of my visit. So for now I will leave it at that and I will be back with the next instalment of my trip! Back to La La Land!