This week we continue our visit to San Francisco city.
We did a city tour of San Francisco with the Big Bus…
We drove past some of the iconic buildings and other landmarks in San Francisco. Detailing a few of them for you,
Transamerica Pyramid, the second tallest skyscraper in SanFrancisco, an icon in the San Francisco skyline. It houses offices and is not open to the public.
The Transamerica Pyramid
The City hall, the seat of government for the city and county of San Francisco. Built after the older city hall was destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906, this structure was built to showcase the rebirth of the city in time for the world’s fair of 1915.
The City Hall
The Lotta Crabtree Fountain..commissioned by actress Lotta Crabtree. Located at a busy intersection in downtown San Francisco, this served as a meeting place in the aftermath of the earthquake and fire.
Lotta Crabtree Fountain
The Painted Ladies
These are old Victorian houses and buildings repainted in 3 or more colours that enhance their architectural details
The Painted Ladies
The Cable Cars
This is an iconic structure of the city and is the world’s last manually operated cable car system , a tramway where the cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street. It is part of the Urban transportation system but is mainly used by tourists today. It has the distinction of being the only transportation system to be called a National Historic Landmark.
The Cable car and a typical street scene in downtown San Francisco
Next we visited Pier 39 also called Fisherman’s Wharf.…a fun place ; an outdoor shopping mall by the bay filled with dozens of shops and restaurants of all types. Set with wooden planks, there are two levels of shops . Most of the restaurants are family run and serve sea food. Clam Chowder in Sour Dough Bread ( clam soup in a bowl made from sourdough bread) was really a unique dish I found here. That seemed to be the most popular dish around.
Most of the restaurants offer great views of the bay. An added attraction here are the sea lions that visit the back docks. One can watch them lying lazily around and creating a cacophony….
Some pictures from Fisherman’s Wharf
Sea Lions basking in the sun….at Pier 39
The Homeless….the unglamorous part
I must also mention here that apart from all the glamour of San Francisco, there’s a very sad side too. As we drove around town, we found lot of homeless people sitting amid dirt and grime on the footpaths, smoking and generally looking drugged. Makes one feel highly unsafe. We were also witness to needles and syringes lying by the road…probably left by a drug peddler.
Most of the flyovers and bridges in San Francisco have hutments below them; small dwellings covered in coloured plastic sheets . The hapless homeless make themselves these shelters to escape the vagaries of nature
Again at Embarcadero, we did see people scavenging the dustbins for food. The roadside benches near Embarcadero have people sleeping on them in broad daylight.
Suffice it to say that inspite of all the high and powerful outer image, there’s a dirty underbelly to this place.
We then visited Ghirardelli Square….I guess I don’t have to elaborate on what that is!!!
Tasted and bought some yummy chocolates and Ice cream. There was a quaint old lady walking around with a basket and distributing free chocolates to every one . She resembled a character from an old fairy tale…
Nice quadrangle with shops selling a variety of desserts.One can spend hours here shopping for chocolates and other goodies or simply enjoying the views downing some coffee or icecream!
Don’t miss that enthu smile on my face in anticipation of the treat ahead…
That was really a sweet ending to our San Francisco city tour…
Next week we visit the famous Redwood forests of California….
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