San Francisco: one of my favorite cities on the west coast of North America. Rolling hills, crisp breezes coming off the ocean and historic Victorian era buildings all add to the charm that attracts international visitors all year round.
On my most recent visit with my mum in May, we were fortunate to have sunny, warm weather. This was important for us because we had planned to tour the city on foot. We arrived by cruise ship and only had one day in the city (too short for me!). Perhaps on a longer trip, I wouldn’t mind experiencing the city in the fog and rain, as this would lend a completely different atmosphere.
The first stop after breakfast was Coit Tower, which afforded spectacular views and is a must visit typical tourist-y stop. It was still early which allowed us to have a good look around before the later crowds of visitors would come. Unfortunately, the actual tower was under construction (seismic upgrades), so we couldn’t climb up the stairs for the grand view.
Next up was San Francisco’s famous Chinatown; North America’s largest, followed closely by Vancouver’s Chinatown district. Walking through the streets reminded me of my visits to Chinatown at home. The indefinable foods for sale in the many produce shops will always remain a mystery to me.
By late afternoon we were walking up one of San Francisco’s many hills to the world famous narrow, winding Lombard Street. As expected, this was filled with tourists, and having been there before, we didn’t stay long. The day ended at Fisherman’s Wharf where we strolled along the ocean past the vendors and colorful street performers.
Our short time in San Francisco had come to an end and we had to return to the pier and embark the ship. I really could have used another week or two to fully take in the city. At dusk we sailed out of the bay under the Golden Gate Bridge. Incredible!