Trip wrap, part 2: just four days?

27 05 2010

Looking back at the four days I’ve spent in San Francisco, I’m amazed at how much I wasn’t able to see. But I’ll summarize instead what I did do, and maybe you can tell me what I should see or do next time.

• Day 1: I stayed close to my hostel when I arrived; nevertheless, I did manage to walk quite far, going through a dodgy area to pick up my shirt and bib for the Bay to Breakers race. I ended up going back to that neighbourhood (SoMa) for a pub crawl.

• Day 2 started with a walking tour organized by the hostel. This was a slightly different tour, as the tour guide pointed out the various events in San Francisco’s history that certainly won’t be found in the standard history texts. Howard Zinn would be proud of this tour. After lunch I took the California Street cable car. Even though I read a description of it as the route the tourists don’t take because they don’t know where it goes, it was nevertheless quite busy. I decided to hang out of the side of the car the whole time; it was quite exhilarating to try it!

Hanging out of the cable car

• Day 3: Bay to Breakers day. Lots of costumes, some none at all, but all fun. I wrote more about it here. I relaxed until the evening, when I took the cable car to and from Fisherman’s Wharf. I maximized this by taking one route there and the other one back, so at least I’ve experienced them all. My tip: since riding the cable car costs disturbingly high relative to the rest of SF Muni ($5.00 single trip vs. $2.00 for bus/Metro/streetcar), a single- or multi-day passport will certainly pay for itself if you intend to use the cable car while in SF.

• Day 4 was a complete rainout, but I still managed to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and return by ferry from Sausalito. I was quite surprised at how many tourists still managed to make it out despite the weather. Luckily, most of them only made it to the first tower before going back, so I had most of the rest of the bridge to myself.

Ensconced in rain and fog

• All four days have been punctuated with copious amounts of food and/or alcohol. Even all the walking and biking I’ve done would have offset the disturbing (even for me) amount of caloric intake. Even though I think I controlled my budget (ie. I still had USD spending money when I left), everything was just cheap and plentiful; I couldn’t help myself!