Sunday, September 8, 2013

San Francisco, CA -- City by the Bay

This was the view of the Bay Bridge from the chaise lounge situated next to the picture window in my hotel room.  It was Sunday.  I had the day off.  The sky was clear and the temperature mild.  I was excited for whatever the day brought.  Wanting to make the most of it and eager to discover what San Francisco was all about, I decided on a city bus tour.  I find this to be the most efficient and cost effective way to tour most any town in a limited amount of time.  The images below chronicle the sights I saw en route.  Just steps away from my hotel was the first stop on the tour, Fisherman's Wharf.  The Wharf is a great vista for viewing the Bay, grabbing lunch, or taking in an afternoon stroll.  Midday at the Wharf, the arcade of restaurants and shops are usually bustling with pedestrians.  Inside, I discovered a great health food market and artisan cheese store.  I'd suggest starting at the Wharf early in the day.  Located within the business district, the general area does not keep late hours.

Above is the clock tower at the Wharf and below are passing streetcars.

There is Pier 39, where you can hear live music, eat, shop and be entertained by street performers.  The Alcatraz Landing is at Pier 33.  It's the gateway and depot for travel across the Bay to the infamous Alcatraz Penitentiary.

Above is the view of Alcatraz.

En route, we saw the "painted ladies" referencing the painted facades of the Victorian and Edwardian architectural stacked row houses that line the hilly streets of San Fran. 

Below, the copper green patina mixed-use building, known as the Columbus Tower, makes a statement due to its early 20th century roots as it sits solo in a sea of modernity.  It is also significant because it is owned and occupied by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.  It is here that you'll find his bistro and wine shop, Cafe Zeotrope, apparently, well worth a visit.  I'll have to find out during my next visit.

San Fran is like no other metropolitan city, with high rises and office buildings alike.  The bus tour passed the city's signature landmark structure, the Transamerica Pyramid.  It stands as the tallest building in downtown San Fran and is most noted for its' pyramid shape.  

Britex fabric store is worth mention.  Look no further if you are a creative stitcher or crafts person seeking inspiration.  With a plethora of quality fabrics, Britex is located in the heart of downtown and well worth a visit.

We passed by City Hall.  And grabbed lunch in the SOMA district.

There was the infamous intersection, Haight and Ashbury.  Significantly known in the 1960's for it's "free love" and hippie subculture in the neighborhood.

Above is the stunning view of the city from the Golden Gate Bridge seen below.

The bus tour was certainly a great way to get better acquainted with San Francisco.  I had a great afternoon.  I learned new things about the city and saw it with fresh eyes.  Until next time... 

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