The next day we saw 2 major SF landmarks: the Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge. Tickets to visit Alcatraz can only be bought from one company and can book out days in advance- so we bought our tickets more than a week in advance. We had breakfast in this place barely a block from the hotel:
Later, I would have their amazing macaroons. It's very difficult to find good macaroons in India- the best ones (rather, the only ones I've had outside India) were here and from a small bakery in Nice, France.
We went to Market St to grab a streetcar for the Embarcadero- the seaside road- to head to the pier from which our ferry was leaving. Here is a shot of Market St:
Here is a street going south of Market street in the area of...you guessed it, South of Market (SoMa). I will come back to this part of town later.
We had to wait a bit for our ferry's departure. From the lines, there was a good view of the area around. Transamerica Pyramid on the left and Coit Tower on the right.
And...then the ferry left. Perfect views were awaiting us...here is one of the Fisherman's Wharf area. Notice all the boats.
It's very difficult to find good macaroons in India
Do you mean what I mean by macaroons -- those chewy, sweet, coconut cookies? If you mean that & not the French macarons, you reeeeeeeeally ought to start making & selling them when you get back home. You could be a zillionaire before you're 21!
This is all interesting because I had no idea what San Francisco actually looked like. All we ever see in tourism advertising photographs are those old Victorian-style houses on a hill or else Golden Gate bridge.
A closeup of the skyline- the slopes are so mind-boggling!
That was towards the end of our time at Alcatraz- I was feeling claustrophobic! We took the ferry back, and headed for uber-touristy Pier 39- a place with a theme-park like atmosphere- with loads of great restaurants. Here is its entrance on the Embarcadero:
And here are a few more shots of the area:
We went to a first floor restaurant. There were nice views from up there.
After having lunch, we walked the short way to Ghirardelli Sq, the centerpiece of the chocolate maker Gihrardelli. Besides being a shop, it is home to its world-famous ice cream parlour.
We then went back to the hotel because my dad was meeting up with a friend who lives in the Bay Area. This friend then volunteered to take us to the Golden Gate bridge that evening.
Random streetview: This one is most likely in the Polk Gulch area: another rather upscale residential area near Nob Hill.
We decided to stop for a few minutes on a famous, crooked part of Lombard St. The road spirals as it goes downhill here, and this spot in Russian Hill affords great views.
Here is that crooked section of that street.
The plants were added later to beautify the road.
Last Edit: May 17, 2013 11:38:24 GMT by anshjain97
Just caught up with your last postings Ansh. All your photos are showing for me in these sections but some still missing on pg1.
The close up photo of the skyline and then the very last looking down the crooked road illustrate the city's steep inclines so well. Of course I have to ask did you try any of the chocolate or ice-cream
Hi Lugg, yes, the pictures I have posted in #30-31 are replacements of the missing ones. Sorry for the missing ones- I tried to create more space on my flickr account by deleting some old ones; didn't know these would stop showing here. Funnily, I can still see them though. Didn't have their ice cream but got back some chocolates. Unsurprisingly I saw several flavours here which I haven't seen in other parts of US or in Europe.
My first uploads every time seem to have to reduced by 84% every time...I will post these later, when I can use my Flickr account again.
Here is a view of the Bay and Alcatraz from near the Golden gate bridge.
Here is the bridge from close to its base.
And here's a view of the bridge, from it.
Besides being a tourist attraction, this bridge is actually an important link, the only direct route from the city to Marin county.
A view of the city from the bridge.
I would've tried to take more and better pictures but it was cold and very windy.
Below is a shot of the Presidio area. Once a military area, now property can be bought be anyone.
Here is the Palace of Fine Arts. I don't know much about it, but here's a small Wiki description: " a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009."
Right opposite it is one of the Marina's residential streets.
As you can see, this area was pretty dead; yes there was some traffic, but very few pedestrians. It was a Monday evening.
Last Edit: May 19, 2013 11:39:32 GMT by anshjain97
The next day my dad had to go to work so he left early. Bored, we left around 8 am too- far too early to see the hubbub of Chinatown. Anyways, here is the first view of the area as you come east on California St.
The red structure is the Old St Mary's cathedral.
A quick look inside.
Then we simply took a stroll though Chinatown.
Hereabouts, Chinatown merges with the Financial District.
But we stay in Chinatown itself- the streets here would be far more lively a few hours later, but right now it's just empty.
Here's another street looking down towards the Financial District.
You all really got around! Super coverage, Ansh. The way you show what's adjacent to major tourist attactions is particularly interesting. Love your skyline pic, with the major streets sloping down to the ocean and the wonderful one from the bridge, where the city appears to float.
Those are great photos !! I just spent a few days with my dad in SF (his first time) mid April and I love it. We did drive there so traffic was horrible for me crossing the Bay Bridge LOL.
I thought about taking dad to Alcatraz but as it has to be booked at least a week in advance I didn't want to chance it because of weather. Kerouac - first time I went there in 1994 I did the same, walk up and buy a ticket.... times certainly have changed.
Anyway - again.. thanks for sharing this great report and photos Ansh, I am really enjoying it!
Then we thought of going to Golden Gate Park- it's SF's major park and it's huge. It has nothing to do with the Golden Gate bridge- it is in a completely different area. This park is located in southwest SF. We approached the park from the south from the Sunset area. It looks like a nice area but seems to have crime issues.
Here's a picture of the area:
Unfortunately, we didn't see anything because everyone seems to drive here (there are major roads right in the middle of the park), there were no signboards and no pedestrians. So we headed back.
Here's a bit of the park. I didn't want to flash my camera around in a desolate area devoid of pedestrians.
Back around Union Sq, we decided to walk around the streets around, which are the main shopping area of SF with lively streets.
Towards the Financial District now, this building looked interesting.
I decided then to walk around the district south of Market St, called South of Market (SoMa).
A food truck was parked here. It was the first one of its kind I remember seeing.
Htmb, must have been a rather unsafe place back then?
We continued in the SoMa district. It was pretty different- seemed more densely packed than other parts of SF but hey- I like the urban atmosphere.
And then we ran into the Yerba Buena Gardens. It is part of the famous Yerba Buena Centre for the Ars. Wiki says: "Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is a multi-disciplinary contemporary arts center in San Francisco, California, United States. Located in Yerba Buena Gardens, YBCA features visual art, performance, and film/video that celebrates local, national, and international artists and the Bay Area's diverse communities. YBCA programs year-round in two landmark buildings—the Galleries and Forum by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki and Theater by American architect James Stewart Polshek."
Opposite it was this peculiar looking building.
Not interested in the arts, we just sat for a while in the gardens; the setting was pretty good. Here was the view from it.
The concrete jungle just around:
I am encountering a problem here, so sorry, will post later.