Saturday, 22 August 2015

Enjoying our time in San Francisco

Carrying on from where we left of earlier.

After a short afternoon sleep to shrug off the jet-lag Victoria and I left the apartment and scaled Filbert Street (I really do mean scaled!) until we descended to Polk and found The Loving Cup, this is a Frozen Yogurt and Rice Pudding bar that Victoria has had her eye on for some time. Victoria had the coconut rice pudding while I opted for vanilla frozen yoghurt with strawberries and pineapple. Very nice they both were too and well worth the vertiginous ascent!

With our calves throbbing from the climb we elected to descend along Polk until we reached Aquatic park below Ghirardeli Square then turned right on to Beach. Passing Fishermans Wharf, at Boudin Bakery we enjoyed a sour dough bowl filled with rustic tomato soup.

Then made our way back up Mason to the apartment. Home just after 9PM and ready for a bed!

We enjoyed a light breakfast at the hipster Beacon coffee bar on Columbus, very tasty but the music was so loud that it was difficult to have your order heard.

After breakfast we walked to Taylor and bought an all day ticket for the cable cars and 'Muni' for $17.00 each. We then rode the Powell-Mason Cable Car  to Powell.

Riding the cable car is a great way to see San Francisco as you rattle along the tracks and up the steep hills.

We then walked along Market taking in the sights and sounds before boarding the California Cable Car and riding all the way up California to Van Ness.

California is a long straight run right to the top and over a very steep hill and affords beautiful views of the city right back to the Bay Bridge. At the end of the California line we walked along Sutter to JapanTown.

We enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat with some lovely locals in Benkyodo, we found out that the same family had owned the shop for over a 100 years and have been hand making Mochi daily. So of course we had to purchase a selection for later we then took a look at the 100ft structure that is the Peace Pagoda (a gift from the people of Osaka, Japan in1968) before some shopping in the Japantown Mall which is very reminiscent of Aquacity in Tokyo last year. We found the Daiso store and Victoria picked up some goodies to take home with her.

We walked back to the cable car stop and took the California Cable Car and back to Market Street and then on to the Ferry Plaza to pick up lunch.

We started with a lovely coffee at Blue Bottle which we enjoyed on the seating overlooking the bay before going back inside for a scrummy Cheese Toastie at our favourite place; the Cowgirl Creamery

Finally we had a scoop each of delicious ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe, Victoria choosing a scoop of Secret Breakfast - vanilla, cornflakes and bourbon!- while I had Toast and Jam.

Back out on the Embercadero we caught the Market Street Car to Haight and Gough. We then walked for a good forty-five minutes along lower and into upper Haight through some lovely areas with stunning looking Victorian houses and some pretty seedy places eventually passing Buena Vista Park and coming to Haight Ashbury. The legendary intersection of 60s flower power.

What a shit-hole!

After an hour or so of sight-seeing we caught the #6 back down Haight and along Market where we visited the Levi's store and purchased a pair of new jeans each, well at 30% off it's daft not to.

Feeling pretty footsore by now we caught the Embercado Street Car to Fishermans Wharf and then walked the short way back to the apartment on the junction of Columbus and Lombard.

We rested our weary feet for an hour or so before walking up to Fort Mason where they host the Off The Grid food event. Probably 30 or so food trucks laagered in a circle with bar and DJ in the centre. Walking over the bluffs above Fort Mason affords some spectacular views over San Francisco Bay including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

When you arrive at Off The Grid, you encounter wonderful sights and smells and some dubious sounds - the Clashs' Magnificent Seven mixed as a dance track harrumphed your correspondent!

We started of with a lovely veggie curry in a naan wrap from the Raj and Singh stall.

Next we shared a Bourbon Creme Brûlée at the Creme Brûlée cart, this was also very tasty.

We had another hour or so soaking up the atmosphere before heading back with a portion of Tots from Drewski these were tossed with garlic and rosemary.

Walking back along Bay enjoying the delicious Tots we hoped to pick up the Powell-Hyde Cable Car to the top of Lombard so we could walk down the zig-zag bit just above our apartment, but after a 20 minute wait it did not turn up so we walked home along Columbus and crashed out for the evening.

We both love San Francisco, but one thing is starting to niggle and that is the poor provision of healthcare in the United States. It seems that mental health issues in the poor are not dealt with appropriately and begging on the streets is their only option. The number of beggars in the city is shameful and society as a whole should be doing more for them.

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