Helllloooo little blog, yes, I still have America posts, no I am not planning on running out any time soon! Seriously, so many.
San Francisco was the last stop of my post camp travels. It was the place I booked my return flight out of so I knew I was going to end up there but when and for how long was something I didn’t know until I ended up there (okay slight lie, it was the day before I went lol last minute dot com). Just a disclaimer, I did enjoy my time in San Francisco but it was the end of my trip, I was on my own, all my friends had gone home- we all parted ways and I headed to SF for the last few days of my trip, like I did love it and I’m glad I went but it was getting to the point where I was like r e t u r n me to my dogs.
Fun fact, I was going to get a Greyhound from LA (which was over 9 hours btw) and would get me to San Fran circa 11pm. I got to the station LA side, then there was a slight luggage debarcle and as I sat waiting for this bus, I contemplated how heavy my suitcase was and whether it was worth spending the money and just getting a flight. I decided that this was a great idea in approx 0.4 seconds, booked my flight for in a few hours time, booked my Lyft and headed to the airport lol. It actually worked out for the better, the flight was hella turbulent but it was like an hour, I arrived in SFO early afternoon, headed straight to my hostel and low and behold, there was a girl in my room who was also vegan and we went out that night and had some real good Thai food, so swings and roundabouts.
My list of what I wanted to do/see whilst in San Francisco was not actually that long, but Fisherman’s Wharf, the Piers and the Golden Gate Bridge were top of it. My first full day, I decided I could walk to the Piers and have a day there. Fun fact numero due, it’s very hilly in San Francisco. This isn’t an unobvious thing but my god I walked more or less everywhere and the place is literally one street up, one street down! I stayed in the city centre HI Hostel and it took me about 40 minutes to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. PS. Super cool hostel, excellent interior and bar, free breakfast, questionable area but we kick on. My hostel was one left turn and then 40 minutes of a straight line to Fisherman’s Wharf- literally all up hill but I didn’t know this.
[First glimpse of Alcatraz from the hill of a street I’d just walked up]
[Wheel of the wharf]
I loved Fisherman’s Wharf. The whole hustle and bustle of the street, straight down towards the Piers. The smell of the fresh bread, the sea salt air! Beautiful. PS. I hear the sourdough in San Francisco is some of the best around and well worth a try! I was beyond bread-ed out from my time in the States so it was very much a no from me, I just couldn’t stomach any more bread (if you’ve read my other posts/know me for this to make sense, thank u, if not, soz love). Also made me kind of sad to see live lobsters cos you know what’s gonna happen there, but I loved this part of town! I even came back up the day before I flew because I wanted to be around it all one last time!
From the angle I arrived, I walked down towards the famous, Pier 39. My first stop was Pier 43. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (literally) are my thing. I love them. If you knew me in Manchester, outside the music scene, I lived in MOSI- you couldn’t take me away. I’ve always loved the Transport Museum near where I live. I just ahhhhh, they’re just beautiful, masterful pieces of engineering so incredible for their time and the development in today’s world. Yes you guessed it, a minor history lesson is coming so stay tuned or skip to the next pic.
Built in 1915, Pier 43 houses the famous Ferry Arch. It was built to serve the Belt Railroad where ferryboats docked and this hoisting tower would load and unload rail cars. Prisoners bound for Alcatraz would embark here as well and the ramp that adjusts to the height of the tide, is still functional today. Through the actual archway, and a very photogenic shot (if you’re not me and can use a camera), you can see the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. This old liberty ship was built during WWII and participated in the D-Day invasion in 1944. The ship remains unaltered and is one of only two fully functional Liberty ships built and launched during the war. That’s mad impressive when 2710 were built! SS Jeremiah O’Brien is open daily to the public on Pier 45 and you can find more information here.
[Ferry Arch and SS Jeremiah O’Brien in the distance]
[Alcatraz island in the distance]
So then I found myself at Pier 39- possibly the most famous of them all? There’s seals!! Within the pier, there is actually a Sea Lion Story or a mini museum if you will, about the preservation and care of these wild animals. You can find more on that here but it’s on the second floor of the pier and it’s easy enough to nip in!
The actual pier itself was great! I loved it! I’ve become a bit of a sucker for this sort of stuff since my love affair with Santa Monica! It was just full of loads of cute and quirky shops, personal favourites were (I don’t remember the actual names but u know) the Left Handed shop, the dog shop, the cowboy shop, the Christmas shop?? Oh and remember the sourdough I was talking about? Well there was a little kiosk selling soup in a bread bowl with said sourdough and the line was pretty long so that speaks for itself. I also found a Biscoff coffee shop where I enjoyed a rather sickly (I’m not very sweet) Biscoff latte. I say it was sickly, but the second time I went to the pier, I got another because when am I gonna have one of those again, u feel? Oh and not to forget, right off the end of the pier was a Hard Rock Cafe and you can’t not go in one of those can you!
[I’m living in the Simpsons]
[There was a wild west shop aka a COWBOY shop. Sorry to everyone who has known me forever because yes I’m still obsessed with cowboys and yes I fancy every cowboy I see. There’s just something very attractive about a guy who can ride a horse and the hat is a huge plus]
[Oh yes, I did a bit of time travel to December?]
[Hello, it’s a whale but not just any whale, it’s a humpback whale!!!!!!]
So after I’d walked the length of Fisherman’s Wharf and spent time across the piers, I googled the Golden Gate Bridge. I mean, it was early afternoon, I’d had a biscoff latte so why not fit the GGB in today as well?! So I google and it’s more or less a straight walk along the sea, reckon it’ll take over an hour? Sweet. So off I went. I walked past a little beach and there were signs for the GGB, yknow cos most normal people were biking it. It was 4 miles away and I had no water (when do I ever go anywhere without water??) and hadn’t eaten since a slice of toast at breakfast (do you see how much bread but hey it was free). But, there’s obviously gonna be a shop on the way, I just need a bottle of water and it’ll be right! Interestingly enough, I am a person who walks everywhere, I run, heck, I’ve completed Tough Mudder, I know how long a real life mile is yet every time, every time, I lie to myself. It’s not as far in my head as it is in real life. Maybe it’s the running because a mile isn’t that far when you’re going a bit faster. Luckily, it wasn’t hot. It was maybe 20 degrees plus the wind and I was used to stupid heat so that helped the dehydration/hunger. I also don’t dawdle and when I’m on my own, I have this habit of walking like I’m on a mission. I’m off. I’m the Usain Bolt of walking, when I’m on my own.
**Story interject, if you walk this trail/route, there are no shops, take water and learn from my bad decisions. There is a cafe when you’re at the base of the GGB but it was teeming and probably always is so that was a solid swerve. Gal don’t wait.
The route took me past a huge harbour full of yachts, it was very swit swoo, but past that you end up on a real nice nature trail. It takes you through Crissy Field Restoration which is basically an old waste dump turned coastal habitat for endangered species. You can read more about it here but “Crissy Field now provides feeding and nursery habitat for at least 25 fish taxa, and supports over 100 invertebrate taxa in what was once just a huge construction site.” It is also a great bird watching stop with nearly 100 species making the marsh a stop along the Pacific flyway.
Last but not least, Crissy Field also has a beach. I mean, it’s coastal, it’s the bay area, there’s a beach. And boy oh boy you can bet your stripey socks that I took a stroll over the sand whilst wearing trainers with those oh so important vents in. Haha oh yes I did! Paige’s great decisions episode 427. I actually didn’t really care, it’s kind of funny and nothing a good removal and shake can’t fix! Either way, if you take this trail, just be warned that there’s a beach and pack other footwear, or remove yours before the sand. Wow even as I type this, I could have removed my trainers. Wow for someone so smart, I’m an idiot. My eyes work and I saw the sand but I proceeded. Yep, slight tangent wow I’m stupid.
[Through the marshes]
[Dog friendly beach, lil mush]
[Ah one of my favourite suspension bridges. Isn’t engineering spectacular yes it is]
[Selfie or it didn’t happen? Dig what the breeze did to my fringe love it]
So there you have what I did in a day in San Francisco! Would recommend, especially the piers because there’s just so much going on and there’s seals!!
Always carry a water bottle.
Peace n love