Hello thereeeee, long time no see?? I know, I know, I’m sorry. It’s been of a bit of a whirlwind since I got back off my holiday and real life all started again. I’m finally back though, and my first post about my holiday is about my top 5 places we went. Lets count downnnn. (PS San Francisco is now my Number One absolute favourite city).
5. City Sightseeing
This was the first time I had even been on one of those ‘Hop On, Hop Off,’ tourist buses (I’d always wanted to go on one as a kid) and I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting that coach tour in ‘Monte Carlo’ (yes I like really really awful films starring Selena Gomez) where they’re rushed round everything at the speed of light, but it was a great way to see the whole city without wearing your feet completely off. Each tour guide was very different, with different jokes and different facts and different personalities, which was much nicer than if they all kept to a single script and company image. You can hop off whenever you want and have a bit of a tourist browse, take some Instagram shots, and then get picked up to go to the next point, or head home. The last few buses picking up from the Golden Gate Bridge were crammed to almost dangerous limits, but all the tour guides admitted that was an issue that needed to be fixed. But yes, I loved these buses, and although I love love LOVE walking round new cities, walking up and down the immense hills of San Francisco for 5 straight days may have killed me.
4. The Bay Bridge
Leading on from the cool tour buses, we also went on a night tour! (It starts at like 6pm so not really night but its in the evening at any rate) Ours was delayed so it did start getting dark, and it was really flipping cold on the top of that bus in the wind and the fog (named Karl – you can follow him on Twitter) but it was absolutely worth it to see the Bay Bridge all lit up in lights. The Bay Bridge is often dubbed the ‘ugly sister’ of the Golden Gate Bridge, but after the hassle of a) getting to the Golden Gate Bridge and b) actually seeing it in the fog, I fell in love with the Bay Bridge. In the lights, it is absolutely beautiful, and you can get pictures of it without crowds of tourists photobombing in the background.
3. Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf
Pier 39 was one of my favourite places to walk around. You can walk round the back of the main pier and get really good views of the sea, then walk round further and see the Bay Bridge and Alcatraz from a distance, which was pretty cool. We could also see the Golden Gate Bridge… nope there was just fog. The main Pier 39 is a nice little collection of restaurants and shops, which we didn’t really go into, but round the side is the famous Pier 39 sea lions! As we were there in summer there were only about 20 or 30, but they were all just chilling on the rafts.
I hadn’t actually known they were there at all! We also stumbled across a small World War Two museum, which had loads of original, retro arcade games, and some modern ones too, which were just amazing. Not including all those creepy ones that try and tell your fortune. This part of the tourist track is just so full of life and colourful, you could spend ages there.
2. Bread and Cocoa
The best hipster/Instagram breakfast you could ask for. Literally two doors away from our hotel, it was a lucky find, and then a must-do for every morning. It’s quite small, and accordingly hipster priced, but worth it. I stuck with my favourite find – homemade granola with Greek yoghurt and berries, and you could really tell it’s homemade. So good. And so pretty. They also did a whole range of breakfast sandwiches and omelettes and all the usual coffee and crap. Tip though, avoid the Saturday morning rush.
1. University of California: Berkeley (Specifically, the Big C)
This is one I really wanted to go to. A friend of mine did a year abroad at the University of California and I remember her posting a picture on this swing and me knowing absolutely that I wanted to go. It’s a big ol’ trek up a hill – it’s practically a hike, and as you can see from these pictures I wasn’t really well dressed for it (I was wearing sandals) but it was totally worth it, if only for the incredible views. When we first got there there were about 50 Chinese students taking their photos of the swing, so we went right up to the Big C and saw the amazing views across the bay, before going down and I got to swing idly on the amazing swing.
You really do feel like you’re flying, and I’m so glad I got to experience this. The walk from the Bart station to the University itself is really nice too – make sure to pop into the super cool board game shop on the way!
I had such an amazing time on this trip – what is everyone’s favourite city?? Second post with the outfits I wore on the way soon!