After an all-nighter by Seio and a late night by myself, we just about managed to wake up in time for breakfast. This hotel actually provided quite a good choice for our ‘complimentary’ breakfast – normally it’s something like donuts and coffee and that’s your lot!! Today we had sausages, hashbrowns, egg, danish pastries, fruit juices, coffee, bananas and apples to choose from. Not bad at all (^^)v
We caught the courtesy bus to the airport at about 11am and took the BART train downtown to Powell Street. Powell Street is probably the most central station, and it is also the starting point for the cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf. There was a huge queue for the cable car and so we decided to look for a bus instead….luckily we stumbled across a different cable car (?) which took us on the scenic route to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.
Even though we seemed to have consumed a vast amount of food at breakfast, we were starting to get a bit peckish when we arrived at Pier 39 – and so we bought a couple of smoothies to keep us going. We had a walk around the pier and took some photos of Alcatraz island and the resident ‘sea lions’ who were sunbathing on the decks. They are very noisy creatures – but apparently quite intelligent as well!
From Pier 39 we took a walk up (!) and down (!) the extremely steep streets of SF to an area of Lombard Street which consists of 5 sharp bends to break up the slope and allow cars to drive down it safely. We even saw a little ‘Go’ car on the way – these cars/jazzed up motorbikes have a computer on board navigating you around and also acting as a tour guide for you….very clever – although they don’t look too safe next to those big pick-up trucks!! They don’t look very powerful either – but they seem to make it up and down those hills quite comfortably. The hill we had to climb to get to Lombard Street made both me and Seio laugh….I don’t know how people could live on these slopes…San Franciscans must be the fittest people on the plant if they have to tackle those slopes every day!! I had to take a rest every 5 minutes, and I consider myself to be fairly fit!!
From Lombard Street we decided to head ‘downhill’ and make our way back to our hotel. We caught the No. 30 bus to Powell Street and just as we were passing through Chinatown, two loud-mouthed men got on the by-now-very-crowded bus and started creating a fuss. An argument ensued between the noisy men, the bus driver, and another passenger who had asked the noisy man to keep his language clean in front of the kids on the bus. Well it all started to kick off big style – I couldn’t think of a worse place to have a ‘heated’ argument than on a crowded bus, doors closed, in the middle of Chinatown!! The noisy men were eventually persuaded to get off the bus, but the driver was concerned that they had actually been pick-pockets working together, and so he decided to call the police just in case! We don’t know what happened after that….I don’t think I’ve ever been on such an ‘exciting’ bus ride in my life….
Thankfully we made it back to Powell Station in one piece and hopped on the BART train back to the airport. We had to wait 30 mins for the courtesy bus to turn up, but it eventually arrived and 20 minutes later we were back at our hotel safe and sound! Phew, what a first day…