So free for the afternoon we set on out to just make our own way and explore. Finally my style of travel! As we were advised to stay out of the Tenderloin area, I thought I’d try to skip the area, but promptly walked straight into the heart of it. There were a few art galleries on route which took Harue’s attention, and one pathetic attempt of a camera shop (hey I live in Japan, very little comes close for camera merchandise). I also noticed some reconstruction was covered by boards (to protect the public from dust/debris etc) was open for artists to have a go of creating something on them, which was actually nice to see, very characterful and not something seen in my adopted home country of Japan. Next we seem to find ourselves in the city centre and
I am tricked into going into some shops again.
I have no idea why shops take up so much time, but the light went after that, so we ate at some Italian place which automatically put a 27% tip on the bill (nice of them to treat themselves to that) and went back to the hotel. So as this was originally a backpacking website from the viewpoint of a solo man I’d like to take this chance to dish out some advice: If anyone is in a position (single and young) and wondering if they should go – DO IT, as it’s much harder to do when you’re older, with commitments and partners, and rolling bags, and time limits, and waiting for her to get ready (make up), go to get laundry done rather than stamp on it in a shower using left over body soap suds, and the need to buy souvenirs and gifts and etc, etc, etc.
So with no way near enough interesting things to fill up a blog post over half day of travel, we move onto the next day. We got up early and left late heading to Union Square to pay the remainder of our Big Bus Hop-on/off bus tour of San Francisco (a deposit was paid in our hotel to make it more smooth). It was $50 each for a 48 hour ticket, which I thought was fine, as it would save us from getting any taxi’s or other public transport (when actually we did have to use public transport later, so it wasn’t the best bargain around in all honesty). Not to mention that it’s $5 cheaper on their website, and there are probably promotion codes/cashback elsewhere if you look for them too.
Anyway, I was extremely lucky the night before to get Alcatraz tickets. Alcatraz usually sells out at least 2 weeks in advance (4-5 weeks for busy seasons) and is the 2nd most visited official attraction in the USA apparently (behind DisneyLand!). I’ll cover Alcatraz in the next post though.
After Alcatraz, we went to the Ferry Building which I had heard had some of the best Vietnamese food around in a restaurant there. Due to bad timing though, we just missed lunch, and dinner was fully booked out that day, so we thought we’d go back later instead (we never did). It was a market day too, so outside sported the farmers market, which had an organic selection to be jealous of, although the apples were amusingly small (maybe 4cm in diameter).
Inside the Ferry Building is nearly all food, and a place I’d be happy to spend in compared to the lacklustre options for wannabe chefs like myself. There is even a mushroom shop with more options than I could name.