Monday, January 25

West Coast USA, Day Thirteen: San Francisco

And just like that, we've reached our final destination of San Francisco. It feels weird that there'll be no more drives, no more navigating a new set of roads, or packing to switch hotels. Even though we fly out tomorrow, there seems to be a sense of finality today. As the flight is mid afternoon, today is pretty much the only day we have for the bulk of the San Francisco sight seeing, so we made sure we had an early start; something which wasn't even a choice as we had a scheduled Tesla factory tour to attend this morning. Alas we weren't allowed to take photos on the tour itself... so a row of cars is all you're going to get.

The tour itself was really good. Partly infotainment, it was still impressive to see how things had been set up, how futuristic some parts of the manufacturing process was and how... old fashioned others were. It was a good way to spend the morning, although I did stop short of placing a deposit on a new Model S.

The rest of the day was spent on the tourist trail. The first stop was, of course, Fort Point for the Golden Gate Bridge. Although an obligatory visit, I have to say it was slightly underwhelming and not only because the actual Fort Point museum was closed on Mondays.

Next, we visited the famous twisty Lombard Street (so famous I hadn't even heard of it until this trip). It was a novelty at best, but at least it was easy enough to get to - despite advise to the contrary San Francisco appeared to be pretty car friendly, at least for those of us who just wanted to stop by the sights and see.

Which made the cable car even more of a curiosity. We actually thought that the quoted $7 per ride was a joke, but no - it turns out that the trolley is more of a tourist attraction than a decent form of mass transportation. Needless to say we hopped off as quickly as we hopped on. Still, they are kind of cute all the same.

The late afternoon was spent mopping up the rest of the area: Hot Fudge Sundae's in Ghirardelli Square, followed by a loiter along Fisherman's Wharf where we ate bread from the Boudin Bakery. It was a nice place to roam aimlessly, and with a bit more time we could have visited some of the smaller attractions there on the seafront. But overall I think we didn't miss out on much by our late arrival to San Fran.

Having passed sunset, we filled the gap before dinner with a visit to the Coit Tower (having just missed opening times) and City Hall, two further demonstrations of the quaint yet diverse architecture styles that can be found here in San Francisco. Overall I think we got a pretty decent feel for the place today, enough to make me wonder what exactly we would have done with the extra time had we arrived earlier. I guess sometimes it does pay dividends to throw schedules away.

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