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!!!