Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

< Previous | List | Next > Touring San Francisco: Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 and Golden Gate Bridge

Looking up at the crooked part of Lombard Street Entering San Francisco, pretty much the first experience is that of a traffic jam, although not all that terrible. Pretty soon, I find the first Lombard Street sign, and consequently we're first driving up, then down Lombard Street. While the curved part of it might be steep, I'm sure the ascent isn't any easier. I parked at a 90° angle to the street, and as a driver you've got to be very careful when you open the door, as passenger you need quite a bit of force to get it to open... The tourist part of Lombard Street certainly looks nice, lots of flowers and freshly painted houses, but it doesn't really warrant all those people standing in the middle of the intersection taking photographs, seemingly oblivious to traffic rules.

When we arrived at Coit Tower it was still closed, but either way we would probably not have gone up, since once again, we were pretty unlucky with the weather, and most of San Francisco was covered in grey mist.

Up next was a visit of Fisherman's Wharf, and on the way there we caught a first glimpse of the famous Cable Cars. Unlike the stop at in the city center, I was able to get pretty decent shots of it being turned around at the terminal, without a hundred other people attempting to photograph the same and mutually get in each other's way.

From the Wharf, you get a pretty good idea of what Alcatraz looks like, but once more my usual complaint applies: bad weather, grey sky, yadda yadda yadda. While the USS Pampanito, a WW2 submarine, and the SS Jeremiah O'Brien looked impressive from the outside, we weren't too tempted (and didn't have the time) to take a guided tour of the inside. Besides, these are obvious tourist traps, and as such not exactly cheap.

Sea lions on Pier 39 Pier 39 with its sea lions touches your senses: they smell and they are loud. It's pretty interesting to watch them lie lazily on the wooden structures, and sometimes engage in petty fights; but somehow it reminded me of a circus, with people standing in several rows to get pictures...

Later, we caught our first glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, which didn't seem all that golden, more like a dullish red surrounded in lots of grey. Nevertheless, I took a lot of pictures, including total shots, close-ups and two panoramas, all from various positions, getting as near as Fort Point

Miles driven: 82mi (132km)

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Pacific Heights Inn (San Francisco, CA): $140 plus 14% tax