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San Francisco 2003

Not too long after visiting Ghana, we were lucky enough to get over to California's hippy capital.

We got into some serious street pounding trying to fit in all the sightseeing on our agenda for this shortish trip.

Once we'd worked out the public transport, our 7 day Muni passes turned out to be really great value. They also helped us avoid walking up some of those really steep hills San Francisco is famous for.

Day one saw us take a long but leisurely walk from our digs in Potrero Hill through the Mission District, stopping off for a rest in Dolores Park and then heading on to the Castro.

In the evening we headed back to the Mission and hooked up with some friends for a drink. Eventually we found our way back to our apartment on the hill and were treated to some stunning views of San Francisco by night.

The next day started off bright and sunny so we thought a ferry trip across the bay would be in order. Best way to check out the islands including Alcatraz, Angel Island, Tiberon Island, dotted around the bay.

So off we headed to Fisherman's Wharf. Ideally we'd like to have gone to Angel Island (good for nature lovers) but being late birds we'd missed the only ferry which left at 10.30 am. Alcatraz seemed like it could be interesting but a little too depressing, so we plumped for the town of Sausalito about half an hour across the bay.

On the spur of the moment we rented a couple of bikes so we could cycle back from Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Unfortunately almost at the very moment we decided it was time to return, the bridge became shrouded in one of San Francisco's notorious fogs...

Later in the week we wandered through Haight Ashbury on to Golden Gate Park which was beautiful. The fog was again beginning to descend so we thought we'd avoid it by heading out to Ocean Beach.

Would you believe it, by the time we got there, the ocean was completely obliterated by fog. Nevertheless it was still possible to imagine how beautiful the beach is in the sunshine. The sand dunes and flowers are lovely and the beach stretches on for ages (on a clear day anyway!).

After all that fresh air we were in the mood for more of the same and next got taken out to Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills by a friend. Well worth it for stunning views of the surrounding greenery and San Francisco's bay from yet another perspective.

While we were on this side of the Bay Bridge we decided to check out a highly recommended eatery called the Purple Plum (soul kitchen) on Park Boulevard in Oakland. The slight trek to get there on public transport was definitely worth the effort. Food was delicious and cooked to perfection. The service efficient and friendly too.

Other highlights of the trip were riding the cable car from Lombard street, going up Coit Tower - more great views, wandering through Chinatown, getting taken on lightening tours of San Francisco by night including going up to Twin Peaks, eating at another great place - Zuni (on Market Street near junction with Franklin), and of course the obligatory shopping.

I was well impressed with San Francisco. People are friendly and helpful -- it's almost like San Franciscans wander around looking for people to help out.

Within seconds of pulling out a map or looking vaguely lost, there was always someone on hand to provide useful and comprehensive guidance!



Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Down town San Francisco from Potrero Hill
Potrero Hill


Alcatraz Island


Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge


Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Golden Gate Park


San Francisco cable car
Cable Car


China Town, San Francisco

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