Our final stop along the way was the beautiful San Francisco. We were all suffering the blues after leaving Santa Barbara but San Fran did not disappoint! The drive along the Pacific Coast highway was stunning, driving along the mountains, I’ve never seen anything like it, although all the winding around them did make me feel a bit car sick but it was worth it!
We arrived at the gorgeous city, in our cosy little apartment up in the hills and the fog. I could imagine living in the apartment one day. It was small but really lovely and had an awesome little balcony that overlooked the city. That night we walked down to Cole Street where we saw the tram lines and tried to find a nice restaurant to have dinner, before having drinks on our balcony, watching all the city lights.
The next day we took the bus down to Lombard Street, to go and hire bikes to ride along the Golden Gate Bridge! It took a while for us to find the hire shop, and a while to bike up the hill to the bridge, but once we were there it was incredible. The view of the city was amazing. It was really windy along the bridge and there was so many people, so cycling along wasn’t quite as calm as I would have wanted but it was still the most amazing thing ever!
Once we got off of the bridge we explored around Sausalito and had lunch and ice cream there, while looking across the river at San Fran’s horizon. The small town was beautiful, it felt as if we had crossed into another country not just over a bridge. It really felt like a quaint little Italy. We then left Sausalito and braved the bridge again, it was a lot quieter but a lot windier, causing me to almost fall off of my bike! It was an extremely exhilarating experience.
The next day we travelled down to Pier 39 and took a trip on the ferry towards Alcatraz, for a you around the rock. I would recommend this tour to anyone! We were given little headsets that spoke to us and guided us along the tour. It was fascinating, learning all about the prisoners and the escape attempts. It all just seemed like a movie set or something, completely surreal that the place was once full of criminals. After the tour we continued to wander through Pier 39, stopping at Ghirardelli for chocolate and ice cream, before trawling around the many tourist gift shops.
The next day we decided to head to the centre to do some shopping, starting off with breakfast from The Cheesecake Factory at the top of Macy’s, overlooking Union Square. We then went on the old fashioned tram up the hill to the Crooked Street. Even though we had to queue for ages it was worth it, you just have to go on the trams if your in San Fran, completely touristy but it has to be done.
We then ended our day with a final meal out at Union Square, in a beautiful, wartime-y restaurant called Sears. The food and the service were both excellent and it was a brilliant way to end our final night.
So the next day we sadly said goodbye to the States as we flew back to rainy old England. The whole trip was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so grateful and lucky to be able to have had them. I hope to someday return to all of these places again and share them with others.
Thank you America!