Listen to a bit of Train, and let San Francisco save you like it did for me.
The bus this time was not incredibly bad. It was overnight so we saved ourselves from having to pay for accommodation for one night, but we did get in to the city incredibly early which was the down side. After our dodgy experience in LA, we decided to splurge a little bit on ourselves and book a hotel for the three nights in the city.
Our hotel was in downtown San Francisco, only a couple of blocks from Union Square, so we were close to everything. Union Square is the main shopping area where tourists spend ridiculous amounts of money. All of the upper brands are located there as well as all of the mainstream shops of America. Close by we also had one of the cable car lines and lots of public transport as well as the Chinatown of the city (which apparently is the biggest in the world).
San Francisco is know for its ridiculously high hills. At first I thought this was all a myth. Downtown San Francisco is relatively flat, nothing out of the ordinary. It wasn’t until we went to Lombard St that we encountered the real deal. Lombard St is an incredibly windy and narrow road set on a hill. To get to the famous spot we naively got off the bus a couple of blocks early and discovered a monstrous hill in front of us. Reaching Lombard St really was a good bum work out (that I definitely needed!) and the views from the top were incredible, but I felt bad for anyone that lives on those hills. I couldn’t imagine doing that climb every day just to get to my house.
Close to Lombard St was Fisherman’s wharf, another popular part of the city. The Main Street was filled with lots of restaurants and cafes and nearby you could see the jetty with all of the luxury boats docked. The best part of the wharf was going to Pier 39, a famous pier amongst the locals, the tourists and the wildlife. Pier 39 is where the sea lions come for a bit of sunbathing. They come during the days of the warm months of the year and climb on top of the docks for a bit of relaxation. When we went late in the afternoon, we saw around 30-40 sea lions just chilling there. It was awesome to see how undisturbed they were with everything around them.
San Francisco definitely saved me. Travelling the U.S. has been fun so far but sometimes I miss some of the iconic things of Melbourne. The trams and the skyscrapers reminded me of home. Similarly to Melbourne, everyone in San Francisco is very aware of the environment so lots of people walk or cycle around. The city had a very laid back feel, everyone was really friendly and I really enjoyed how accepting the city was to different cultures and personalities.
Thank you San Francisco!
PS. Congrats Melbourne on winning world’s most liveable city for the fifth time in a row! You make me so proud.