Saturday, May 26, 2012

San Francisco - Fisherman's Wharf & Alcatraz!

Although our trip was off to a frenzied start, with two hours delay in flight an an eclectic hostel (Orange Village Hostel), our first night in San Francisco was a semi-success. The hostel was much more basic than the HI Hostel or Green Tortoise brands I'm use to (who both charge $50 a night per person for an 8 bed dorm in the San Fran area!) Our $30 a night hostel was clean and warm, but definitely the ultimate backpacker style. The lady at the front desk failed to inform us that, despite being located next to the Hilton, we were steps away from "The Tenderloin", an area reminiscent of Vancouver's Hasting Street. Not that we encountered anything dangerous, but taking the longcut "home" was the safe bet!

Alioto's & Carousel Fun

Sheena and the crab!
Exhausted from a 3 am start to the day, by 6pm we finally had a chance to grab some food at Alioto's Waterside Cafe, which featured a surprisingly delicious vegetarian pesto penne, with zucchini and squash. Yum! Sheena had a 

lobster/crab combo that was apparently succulent and also interestingly presented. 

In search of the perfect view of the sunset, we asked the local waiter, who directed us on a bus to Treasure Island, where we would see an amazing view of the skyline and Bay Bridge while sipping a martini. Perfect, we think. In reality, after an hour on buses that were a bit "sketch", we ended up at an old U.S. Naval base complete with a shady pub. Wow, the local waiters sure have some strange tastes!

Too late to catch the sunset at Cliff House, which would have been across the other side of the city, we took a few pics and headed back on over to Fisherman's Wharf--we accidently stumbled upon Pier 39, the famous pier on our list. Lit up beautifully at night, it was definitely a touristy area with a few cute shops (Sheena bought some neat  Christmas ornaments for her kids). We took a token picture by the famous carousel and found a delectable crepe shop where we had dessert. Mmmm...cheat meals taste best on vacation! I will admit that after a long day, a luxurious hotel may have been a better choice than Orange Village!

The next morning's trip to Alcatraz was an amazing historical site and definitely the best audio tour I've ever been on. This tour is so popular it sells out three weeks in advance - and the night tour sells out two months in advance! 

Check out my Glog poster below for interesting details! If it's not loading for you, click here.  Despite the fact that I PAY for Glogster Premium, it looks like you have to click where the pink Glogster sticker is, and choose "View Full Size" from the drop-down menu to actually see it (or click here) - it took forever to make and I was hoping it would show up properly!

After Alcatraz, we wandered around Fisherman's Wharf once more. Ghiradelli Square's chocolate shop was pretty, but let me tell you, it was definitely undeserving of the World Famous title! Boudin Bakery, however, was delicious and had some interesting crab-shaped baguettes!

The rest of Saturday was a frenzied afternoon attempting to get to the Golden Gate Bridge and take a few pictures(which we later found our winery tour the next day stopped at!). Golden Gate will be in my next post, as those pics are definitely beautiful. Hours of traffic, chilling winds and late buses, thanks for Memorial Day weekend, meant after a hurried day of sightseeing, we really needed our Saturday night out!

1 comment:

blackchecks said...

Thanks for the post! Will be traveling to San Francisco from Singapore via free & easy from travel.insing and I am really excited to visit the famous fisherman's wharf!