Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

USA Road Trip: part 4 – San Francisco

We'd travelled along 450 miles of the wonderful, amazing, breathtaking Californian Pacific coast and look! there's the Golden Gate Bridge peeping over the San Francisco Friday evening traffic – we'd come to the end of the Road Trip.

But, we still had two full days left and we wanted to see as much of the city as we could cram in . . . we were staying at Fisherman's Wharf (and quite frankly a half hour of that was enough for me), spending a good part of a precious day doing Alcatraz didn't appeal to us, but this did – The Real SF Tour.

The brain child of Chris Courtney, this is a full day 'urban adventure', you need to wear comfy walking shoes and be fairly nimble and capable of negotiating flights of stairs and slopes up and down. We met Chris, and with four others jumped aboard the California Street cable car to start the tour . . . 

Chris gave a commentary throughout the day – never boring or too history orientated, full of interesting and practical information – but in fact, as Chris said, it's best when

the city speaks for itself . . .

You can see our route here; I was taking photos along the way and the slide show above shows them in order through the day. The music is 'Gold Dust Woman' by Fleetwood Mac from the album 'Rumours', chosen because a) I like it and have the original vinyl lp; and b) it was recorded just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito – an incidental fact Chris mentioned during the tour. 

If you're planning to visit San Francisco (or if you live nearby and want to know more about the different neighbourhoods) the The Real SF Tour is a great way to see the city and come away with a list of places to revisit, plus recommended restaurants, shops and neighbourhoods to fill a whole week. Don't be put off by the thought of walking all day (it's not that tough!) afterwards we still had enough energy to walk all the way back to our hotel at Fisherman's Wharf; we gave it 10/10 for a fantastic day exploring 'the real' San Francisco.

So, our last full day in San Francisco . . . lets start with breakfast in the Beach Street Grill, just along the road from our hotel – that will set us up for a day's cycling!

We hired our bikes at Anchorage Square and set of along the bay towards the Golden Gate Bridge, a nice level cycle way :-)

It then get's a tad harder work, you see the road over the bridge is a lot higher than the water! Phew!

The bridge is 1.7 miles wide and on one side there's a two way cycle lane, fenced off from the traffic; to be honest I was too busy looking at the the bridge structure or concentrating on not colliding with herds of lycra clad racing cyclists going in the opposite direction, to appreciate the views of the bay!

But, yay! I did it!

We continued down the very steep, busy road into the little town of Sausalito on the north side of the bay; at the bottom I quickly insisted that we got the ferry back (Fen girls aren't used to cycling up hills!).

So that was it – our big adventure was nearly over. We celebrated by having dinner at Greens, the iconic San Francisco vegetarian restaurant at Fort Mason. The food was very good as was the autumn cocktail (rum, apple and wheat beer); but I had enjoyed the meal we had at Plant, on Pier 3, even better – especially the apple, nutty, spicy, crumbly dessert with the almond milk ice-cream – heavenly!

We'll remember this USA Road Trip for a long long time.

Would we go back? Definitely!!!



  1. I am so envious of your trip, just catching up now on your previous posts.

  2. WeI live just across the bay in Oakland. Looks like you had a lovely trip. Did you stop at the Musee Mechanique, near Fishernan's Wharf?

  3. Sounds like a truly fabulous trip, San Francisco is one of my favourite cities, so a great place to finish up.

  4. I've enjoyed each episode of your trip. I am always amazed, when looking at pictures of USA places, that it is such a beautiful country, since we don't get to see the real loveliness of it on TV programmes. You were very energetic there, weren't you?

  5. Thank you for sharing your USA road trip. It has been fun to see the experience through your eyes. I don't think I would have fancied travelling across that bridge though!

  6. Dear Ceila, I'm so happy you enjoyed your visit to my country! It sounds like you had a lovely time, not to mention all the touring you did. On your next trip you'll have to check out San Diego, it's stunning! Or you could visit New England, my home, there's nothing like it, especially Maine in the summer, Vermont in the Autumn, Massachusetts for tons of history!

  7. Lisa & Robb - The Musee Mechanique was closed each time we walked by!

    Toffeeapple - yes you're right, we get a very skewed view of the USA.

    I thoroughly recommend the Real SF Tour - it made SF really come to life and we'll remember our visit for a long time.

    Ocean Breezes... San Diego to LA, that's another idea for a trip! We've visited New England and Vermont is beautiful - but we missed Maine as there were floods there when we visited! I'll have to go back!


  8. Brilliant! what a wonderful holiday!


I love reading all the comments (except for spam and advertising which I will delete) and I'll reply here in the comments under each blog post, it may take a few days if I'm busy.
You don't need to have a blog to leave a comment, you can select the name/URL option and fill in just your name instead of a blog link.