Tuesday, June 30, 2015

San Francisco Day 3: Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry Building Farmers Market,Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square

ALA is done, and now I have two days to be a tourist.  To start off my morning, I decided to have a bit of a lazy morning, and didn't leave the hotel until after 10 am.  But after two days of rushing around, a slower pace was most welcome.  I took a LYFT to the Golden Gate Bridge Pavillion,  Yes, I could have taken a hop on hop off bus, but their stops didn't match where I wanted to travel, and only the Golden Gate Bus goes to the bridge and not near my hotel, so Lyft it was.  

The Pavillion was finished in 2012, and it's beautiful outside, great views of the bridge, when the fog has burned off.  Fog typically burns off by afternoon, but mornings are quieter.  There are several bike tours that take you over the bridge and back on the pedestrian walkway. I was impressed, some people on those bikes had no business being on a bike, but points for effort.  Other bikers were very experienced, pulling off death-defying turns like a skier in a slalom race, so you do have to keep your wits about you.  Also note, it is windy on the bridge, but not freezing.  It was cool, but since I was walking, I was fine.  Some people were bundled up like they were getting ready to shovel a foot of snow.

There'a a pavillion gift shop full of Golden Gate Bridge items, including these bookends.
 I was tempted, but I don't need them and can't fit them in my suitcase anyway.
The pavillion is lovely with pathways leading to the pedestrian walkway,
you can sort of see there is a bridge behind all that fog.
The fog drifts so you can catch glimpses of the bridge. 
Marian County behind me.  It's about a mile and a half across, so when you cross and go back,
it's over three miles.  A really nice stroll.
It was scarier for me looking up, not down.  All that fog reminded me of the Stephen King movie The Mist,
I admit, I was a bit freaked.  Come to think of it, that movie should have been set here and not in Maine, hmmm.

Next I headed down to the Ferry Marketplace Farmers Market. The market was just about over but I got to see the stalls selling all kinds of fruit, jam, honey and more.  Very impressive how many locals come here to do their shopping.

What I really wanted to do was stop by the Hog Island Oyster Company for some oysters and a salad.
They were delicious! Perfect for the mile walk I had before me. 
I made my way down The Embarcadero to Pier 39. Pier 39 is a complete tourist trap, kind of like an overblown Faneuil Hall, but that's fine.  I was in the mood for touristy things.  I do recommend taking a pedicab to the Pier, since the walk was pretty uneventful and it was really warm out, high 70's and very sunny.  

I was going to wait for ice cream when I got to Ghirardelli Square, but I was hungry after that walk,
and really hot, so fresh strawberry ice cream by the water was perfect.

After hitting the shops, I headed down to Fisherman's Wharf, which is just as busy as Pier 39.  One place I had to stop by was this famous bakery.  My friend is an amazing bread maker, I wish she had been here with me!  The shop smelled amazing!

A sourdough bread alligator?  Cool.  They do offer tours and a chance for kids to make their own bread animal.

Down the street there is this little bar which is famous for inventing the Irish Coffee.
 It was packed with people.

Next I went to Ghirardelli Square, very pretty and a lot quieter than the noise, hustle, and bustle of the pier.  Since you can buy their chocolate anywhere, I was not tempted to buy any.  And since I already had ice cream, I didn't want more.

So I had hot chocolate instead.  With whipped cream, it was delicious! 
And since the wind had picked up, there was a bit of a chill, so it was perfect.

The Powell-Hyde Cable Car turn-around is around the corner, but it was out of service, so we had to take a shuttle part of the way.  We had to get off the shuttle and then hop on the crowded car.  Taking the cable car is iconic, but with all those hills it can be a bit of a thrill ride.

All in all my first full day as a tourist was quite packed with lots of walking, exploring, and eating. 
Very San Francisco!

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