USA roadtrip – San Francisco

San Francisco, the City by the Bay, Fog City, the Paris of the West, Everybody’s Favourite City. No matter what you call it Frisco is the best city I’ve ever been to.

Highlights for me over the past four days have been watching the sunset from an awesome rooftop location, hiring a bike and riding from downtown over the Golden Gate bridge, the novelty of the steep streets, a locals tour of the city, visiting movie sets like Mrs Doubtfire’s house, going to a baseball game, and visiting Alcatraz.

Here’s an interesting fact too. The Chinatown district here is the oldest in North America dating back to 1848 and also has the largest Chinese community in the world outside of Asia.

The best rooftop location in town, right where I stayed.
The best rooftop location in town, right where I was lucky enough to stay.

Sitting up here at sunset it felt like I was in a movie set. Like a Jason Statham film and he’s either sitting here at the end of the film reflecting on all the carnage he’s inflicted or he’s lining up a sniper shot through one of those many windows.

Little needs to be said. The golden gate bridge with the city in the background.
The golden gate bridge with the city in the background from Marin Headlands.

There’s no better way to see the bridge than riding over it. Those long swooping cables that run from the tops of the towers are huge.

This gives some perspective
This gives some perspective

Then there were the steep streets. They certainly make for some weird and wonderful perspectives with all these angles. It’s a photographers dream, and walking around I did see a lot of enthusiasts with their big lens cameras finding just the right spot. A big congregation is always hovering around Lombard Street. It’s one of the city’s most popular attractions. The street was too steep for a straight road so for practicality a road with eight bends was constructed.

Lombard St, San Francisco. The "crookedest street in the world". A big tourist attraction.
Lombard St, San Francisco. The “crookedest street in the world”. A big tourist attraction.
A car descends one of the steepest streets in San Francisco - Filbert St, grade of 31.5%.
This car “falls down” one of the steepest streets in San Francisco – Filbert St, grade of 31.5%.

Filmmakers love San Francisco and why wouldn’t they? By filming here they get a lovely backdrop that makes any movie look better and with so many iconic locations in one place. I had some fun tracking down Mrs Doubtfire’s house and even though I’d never seen Full House we visited the beautiful Alamo Square and saw the “painted ladies”.

Mrs Doubtfire's house! San Francisco.
Mrs Doubtfire’s house! San Francisco.
The painted ladies from Alamo Square, San Francisco. The opening scene set from Full House.
The painted ladies from Alamo Square, San Francisco. The opening scene set from Full House.

Next up was a visit to the world famous Alcatraz. Just a casual 16 million people visit the island each year!

They have a really great hour long audio tour where you get headphones and are guided around the prison. It works brilliantly because they’re just too many people for guided tours to work. As Kelly said “It’s like a silent disco” with everyone moving round and not talking.

The views from the island are awesome too. You can see the city, the bay bridge and the golden gate bridge. We were lucky to have a beautiful day.

I’ve also updated my USA photos.

Alcatraz ruins
Alcatraz ruins. The prison closed 50 years ago in 1963.
Cell 138. The site of the famous great escape from Alcatraz. See the dummy head and the escape hole.
Cell 138. The site of the famous great escape from Alcatraz. See the dummy head and the escape hole.
Classic photo of San Fran. Cable cars, steep hills and Alcatraz.
Classic photo of San Fran from Hyde St. Cable cars, steep hills and Alcatraz.
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2 thoughts on “USA roadtrip – San Francisco”

  1. Hi Dan and kelly great shots of San fran it is the city in America I have always thought sounded great and you thought so too. So much to see I am envious. Only 4 weeks till Italy. How far is it across the bridge? Keep happy and well, luv mum xx

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