Finally, finally, finally I get to write this post about the first stop of our roadtrip in the US: San Francisco. I was kinda pushing it back again and again because I didn’t want it to be over…you know? Anyways, I finally found the time and the patience to really start working on it, so here we go!
Day 1 – Coit Tower & Pier 39
Nope, I didn’t really prepare for this trip that’s supposed to take about one month, and I still can’t believe it finally started. We arrived late evening after hours and hours in planes, airports and trains and just went straight to bed after some dinner. I researched some things to do on Pinterest, so we are ready to explore the city the next morning, the first full day of this journey.
After just wandering through the streets starting at Union Square, we feel like we need a plan to be able to see as much as possible within the next few days. Starting with a walk through China Town, we walk all the way to Coit Tower, where of course, we go to the top. And the view is just great! It makes up for the weather that is not as warm and sunny as we expected it to be, the long journey from New York to San Francisco and, to a certain degree, for the good bye to the city I just left about 36 hours ago and already miss. A lot.
After Coit Tower, we decide to explore Pier 39, see some sealions (some just relaxing in the sun while others are fighting over the best spots or…whatever). We enjoy the little bit of sun we get, before we head back into the city for some dinner.
Back in the Airbnb we talk to the other guys – they are already done with their trips and give us tips about what to do and what’s not worth the time..especially the German couple who went hiking in California for about four weeks has some nice inspiration.
Day 2 – Alcatraz, Lombard Street & Painted Ladies
Alcatraz was the only thing we booked before we came to San Francisco – and as soon as we are on the little island, we realize that it was worth getting up so early. We get our audio guides directly while others have to wait in line for ages because they arrived 30 minutes later…while they are still waiting, we are sitting in the sun, enjoying the view and already head back before the busiest time of the day starts.
After lunch and another look at the sea lions (it’s the first time I ever see them in nature, not in a zoo), we decide to take the Cable Car to Lombard Street. I figure that it’s harder than I thought to take a picture showing all the turns of the street from the hilltop, so we walk all the way down, just to see that it’s still hard.
There is more time left of the day than we thought, and we head to the Golden Gate Bridge Park, which is huge and, according to my Lonely Planet, a must see. Once we’re there, we quickly figure it’s too big to just walk through it, and for us, it’s not a must see. When we reach the bus we are exhausted from all the walking, but happy about all the things we saw. One last stop at the Painted Ladies, some minutes on a quiet bench in the sun, before we have dinner and head back to our Airbnb.
Day 3 – Golden Gate Bridge & Sausalito
The morning is gray and foggy, so the first thing I do is buy a jacket – why is it so cold, while California is supposed to be warm!? At Pier 39 we find a place to rent bikes and decide to go for a tandem. Bad decision. Never rent a tandem when there is even the slightest hill on the way.
We bike all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge and stop from time to time to take videos and photos. The moment I see the bridge in the fog on one of my photos, I know this is going to be one of my favorite pictures from San Francisco and maybe of the entire trip.
Arriving in Sausalito, there’s finally sun! We can take off the jackets and sweaters, having lunch in the sun and enjoying the view all the way across the bay to San Francisco. When the sun starts to disappear, we decide to take the ferry back. After arriving at Pier 39 we have dinner and, as it’s the last evening, decide to go for a drink.
In The View Bar in the San Francisco Marriott Hotel we have a drink, sitting directly next to one of the huge windows and overlooking the city. After the good bye in New York, the long journey and three days full of seeing new things, I decide that San Francisco was the perfect first stop.