Chapter 3: San Francisco.
The next morning, we woke up nice and refreshed and we were getting ready to check out. But first, we did a little bit of laundry and had a spot of breakfast My breakfast was, at least in my opinion, very American. I felt it was American as it consisted of some eggs, pancakes and a piping hot cup of coffee with creamer. I never understood why creamer is popular here and I always find that coffee with milk is significantly more tasty and refreshing. While we were walking back to the hotel, I caught a glimpse of the sun rising over the small lake in front of our hotel.
The California sunrise
Afterwards, we packed our bags and headed towards San Francisco but first we made a small detour. When I say small, I actually mean a fairly large detour. Our route took us through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of Sausalito to go see the famous California Redwoods. The drive was to take around an hour mostly because we would have to first travel to the city of San Francisco. This would involve going through Monday morning traffic before heading towards the redwoods. The drive to the redwoods featured some gorgeous Californian weather with had clear blue skies. After ploughing through the centre of San Francisco and windy mountain roads we reached the redwoods. While these redwoods are not as wide as some of the ones in the Pacific Northwest, they are still impressive. What made this scene picturesque was the sunlight passing through the trees. It created a beautiful and scenic setting.
The drive to the redwoods
Some of the photos we took in the Redwood forrest
After spending some time in the park we then drove into the town of Sausalito for a spot of lunch. We found a very popular Mexican place that was highly recommended on the local Zagat guide. It was at this point, I exploited the fact that I wasn’t driving by ordering myself a margarita. After an ice cream and a walk around the docks, we drove back into San Francisco to head towards Twin Peaks. Twin Peaks is a popular lookout point where you can get a view of the entire city. The drive there took us through some of San Francisco’s windy and hilly streets.
The view of the Pacific Ocean from the road to Sausalito
The view of the city from Sausalito
After going through the city and Nalin scolding me for ten minutes for falling asleep, we soon arrived at the lookout point. Since the weather was clear we were able to see right over the wonderful city that is San Francisco. We were also able to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland, Alcatraz and the bay. After taking panoramic photos of the area we soon headed towards the Fisherman’s Wharf. This is where we would be spending our last night in San Francisco.
The view from Twin Peaks
It was around three in the afternoon when we arrived at the hotel. The hotel was all nautical themed and after yet another jetlag induced nap, we decided to explore the area. I found that recently San Francisco has had an influx of healthy restaurants. Soon we found one called Greens which was situated in Fort Mason, an old navy base which is a five-minute drive from the Palace of Fine Arts. It was quite popular among the local residents and it was rated well on the Zagat and Yelp guides. Before we headed towards the restaurant, Nalin and I decided to take a walk up to the famous Lombard Street. The street was filled with tourists trying to take photos of the incredibly windy street. After fighting the crowds to take a photo we headed back down one of the many steep streets of the city towards the waterfront.
The famous Lombard Street
We would then walk along the waterfront, through one of the city’s many parks to reach Fort Mason. It was great to see so many active people using the parks even when the sun had gone down. The weather was nice, windy and very cool and it made the long walk to the restaurant fantastically pleasant.
The view on the way to the restaurant
After spending time going through the parks we soon arrived at Greens, a restaurant that is fully vegetarian. On the night that we had reserved a place for the two of us the restaurant was packed with a large Chinese family. This was because it was Chinese New Year. One of the Chinese New Year traditions is that families go out and do house visits to see their extended family. Another tradition is that the families often have large reunion dinners. These can either take place at home or in restaurants. To this day, San Francisco has a large Chinese community and this dates back all the way to the 19th century. It was nice to see the family tradition of coming together for Chinese New Year is still very much alive. The restaurant specialised in western vegetarian food and thankfully it was very tasty. We were also enjoying it with some lovely drinks. Nalin had purchased an interesting hard cider because with each pour of the bottle, it became darker.
Our delightful and delicious vegetarian dinner
If you look on the left you'll see Nalin's cider just as he poured it
This is after two pours
After the enjoyable dinner, we headed back to the hotel just to relax and do some light packing to prepare for the flight to Seattle. In addition to this, we would also be doing some final last minute sightseeing prior to our flight. All in all, tomorrow would be very exciting.