Friday, 2 November 2012

San Francisco

A 45 minute ferry from Larkspur took us to San Fran.  A beautiful, sunny, chilly morning promising another hot day ahead.  The Bay is superb, with views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.  The Golden Gate stands out red against the bright blue sky.
The ferries don't run as regularly at the weekends, as they do for the commuters during the week, so we couldn't set off until 10am.  Earlier would have been more impressive in the early morning fog.
Where to start, when you're plonked down in the port!  Well, the Market at the Port is a great place to start, with warehouses full of food and chic items!  Then a long walk along the front to Fisherman's Wharf.  Not really impressed with this part- just full of gift shops and typical visitor fare!  But we did get to see the dozens of sea lions, basking in the sunshine, on pontoons floating just out from the wharf.  We moved on to Boudin's Sourdough Museum and Bakery.  Operating since the 1850s and run by the same family, it is unique to San Fran.  It's been using the same sourdough Mother Starter, yeast starter, since 1850s, and that mixed with the foggy air of the San Fran Bay makes a bread specific to the area, and yet hardly gets a mention in the Lonely Planet guidebook!  The highly informative talk and presentation by guide and boards makes the trip to the Bakery fascinating.  The massive Kenwood-style mixers are a joy to behold, mixing bread that was a feature of Greek and Roman times.  They even reimburse you the price of the admission to the factory, $3 each, if you eat on the premises, which is a treat anyway.  Clam chowder in a sourdough bun, which comes in two different sizes, so you don't need to feel over faced - unusual in US.
Famous SF Cablecar
A tram back to the port and then a famous cable car up to Union Square.  An ingenious way of being pulled up the high street, which is no mean feat here, as the streets are so steep!  Great fun travelling on the cable car, and a pleasant rest after all the walking about.
Apart from visiting Chinatown, which we'll do in the future at night, we felt we'd seen enough now and headed back.
It was wonderful to be greeted by Lily with a big hug and be pulled into the room!

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