Three and a half days to go – time to settle back into The City. One thing we had promised ourselves on this trip was to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. We had driven it many times but still had not experienced the thrill of stamding on it midway across the bay.
Abandoning – not for the first time – the late running MUNI buses in our neighbourhood, we walked to Van Ness on another warm, clear morning where we picked up a no.47 to North Point. From here we cut through Aquatic Park to Fort Mason where, conscious of eating early this evening, we felt it was time to have a light lunch. We discovered the Readers’ Cafe in Building B which not only served fine food and the strongest, handcrafted coffee imaginable, but contained a large second hand bookstore.
As we ate our tofu and avocado sandwich (me) and flapjack (Janet) it was also nice to know that we were contributing towards the San Francisco Public Library. I took the opportunity here to engage a local woman in conversation about how lucky she was to live here permanently. Whilst acknowledging her good fortune she said she really loved London!
We have enjoyed our two stops at Fort Mason, barely half a mile from Fisherman’s Wharf yet I wonder how many tourists ever get to visit it or are even aware of it. And do San Francisco residents make as much use of the facility as they might?
The walk through the Marina and Crissy Field was challenging as we had both the brisk coastal wind and strong sun in our faces. The Warming Hut, therefore, proved a very welcome refuge. Aside from the food and drink available it has a very interesting gift shop with a number of San Francisco related books that I had not seen anywhere else. After a short break we walked up the hill to the entrance to the bridge, stopping constantly to take photographs of the killer views.
The camera was called into action many times again as we made the trip over into Marin County. We quickly became immune to the noise and rush of the traffic, although we had to be on our toes to avoid many of the (local) cyclists who seemed to think they were riding flat out in a velodrome rather than on a pedestrian filled six foot wide pavement. With the constant photo stops and observation of a sea lion diving for fish, it took us around three quarters of an hour to get to Vista Point on the other side of the bridge.
After a comfort break and more photographs, we set back across the bridge to make the return journey which took just half an hour. Coffee and chips were our reward before we caught a no. 28 bus back to Fort Mason.
We spent the next hour and a half exploring Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf before retiring to The Franciscan for dinner. Excellent food, attentive service and sunset over Alcatraz made this one of our better evening meal experiences on the vacation. I had crab enchiladas and Yukon mashed potatoes with zucchini whilst Janet had Crab and Shrimp Louie with fries.
We took the F Streetcar to Market before picking up the no.5 MUNI bus to take us back to the apartment.