Fisherman’s Wharf

Upon our return back to the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco we decided to do the 30 minute walk up along the coast to the Fisherman’s Wharf. This is an area packed with souvenir shops and places to eat. During our walk we spotted a TTC streetcar in use. We also noticed other streetcars from other cities. If anyone knows more about this please leave me a comment.

A key attraction are the sea lions. There were quite a few up on the floating docks.

Also from this area you get a great view of Alcatraz Island “the Rock”.

Sausalito

This morning we walked from our hotel to the Ferry Terminal. It was not a bad walk at all. Being Saturday the farmers market was open and there were tons of people.

After walking around a bit we decided to catch the ferry to Sausalito. A nice little place much like Niagara on the Lake. Lots of shops and places to eat right off the water. We spent the afternoon there.

We stopped and had a late lunch/early dinner at this place called, the Spinnaker right off the water overlooking the bay and across into San Francisco.

Sausalito is very touristy but was much cleaner than San Francisco. If I had seen much that there is to see around San Francisco and was simply looking to stay in a decent place in the area I’d probably choose Sausalito. It was also a nice sunny day in Sausalito but was overcast and much colder in San Francisco. Nice place and just a 30 minute ferry ride across the bay. Cost was $25 per person for a return fare. The ferry runs back and forth throughout the day. Weekday and weekend schedules differ.

Off in the distance towards the right side, that cluster of buildings is San Francisco from Sausalito.

First Impressions

This is my first visit to San Francisco. Generally speaking everyone we have dealt with so far has been really friendly. Service has been decent. But the city is quite dirty. Many streets are littered with garbage and some places have remnants of squashed food and garbage. Also unfortunate is the homeless problem here. We found a YouTube video on this problem prior to leaving and every driver we have had so far has mentioned it in discussion. There’s a big problem here of people with mental illness living on the streets as well as general homelessness. On our way to dinner last night I was startled walking past a homeless fellow having a lively conversation with himself. In the late evenings we can here people on the street below yelling and screaming nonsense. One driver mentioned there’s approximately 140,000 living on the streets here. Stores and shops do not allow these people to use their washrooms permitting their customers only. Therefore the streets of San Francisco become their toilet. Walking around there’s a frequent smell of urine in the air. This has been our only disappointment so far.

Also noticeable is the high presence of security everywhere. Most places have security guards at the doors. We stopped in at Safeway near Japantown and it had a police offer at the entrance-exit doors.

There will be people on the streets in any major city but my understanding is that it’s a huge problem here. Heard the same thing about Seattle.

It’s such a shame as the architecture in this city is quite nice. Lots of old houses and buildings with tons of character. This city needs to do something to help people get off the streets and/or give them some assistance to avoid having so many living on the streets here. It is a nice place beneath all this.

Uber

We are finding that Uber is our choice of transportation while in San Francisco. I am very surprised that it’s the best value for convenience. For example, I compared traveling from our hotel to Fisherman’s Wharf. By cable car it would take about 26mins and cost $7 each. By Uber, it would take 12 minutes and cost $8 for both of us. By shared Uber, it’s $4:80 for both of us.

I’m not sure if Uber rates are as cost effective back home in Canada but I am really surprised that it works out cheaper than public transportation. With so many drivers around, the wait is minimal and you pay using the app. So convenient.

We also considered the Muni app and the 7-day pass. This costs $39 and gives unlimited usage on San Francisco Muni transportation- cable cars, buses and trains. This is technically cheaper in the long run but considering the convenience that public transportation does not pick you up and drop you off where you are and need to be, we have found Uber to be the best balance between cost, comfort and convenience.

So far we have had pleasant and friendly drivers. Ok, our first driver was pleasant but he drove like he was in a street race. Much like our Toronto cab drivers. Other drivers were fine.

Japantown

Today, we headed down the street to the Cable Car Diner for breakfast. Nice little place and excellent food. After breakfast we walked around the area and did a little shopping.

This afternoon into the evening we headed to Japantown. A couple of square kilometers of Japanese shops and restaurants.

It was neat to walk around. It really did have the look and feel of being in Japan. Especially in the malls with the places to eat complete with plastic replicas of the menu items, just as you’d find in Japan.

The only disappointment was our dinner. We chose a decent looking place that was full. After having sushi last night we figured on trying ramen. The picture looked appetizing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. First, we ordered kani (crab) sushi. But instead of being real crab meat that was served at Maru last night these were the imitation crab meat (Pollock) that we all know. Then the tonkotsu ramen was tasted like it came out of an instant package. Very disappointing.

But we found a nice place for dessert and had ice cream in waffle cones. Mine was matcha and Deniz had lavender. These were delicious!!

All round a good day! My Apple Watch tells me I did 11,585 steps, 6.97kms today.

San Francisco

We arrived this afternoon. Weather, temperature wise is very similar to Toronto. The only difference today is that we left a rainy Toronto and arrived in sunny San Francisco. Sun is warm but breeze is chilly.

We arrived during rush hour so traffic was crazy. Our Uber driver got us here in good time though.

We are going to settle in and head out for some dinner.

Here’s some pics from the ride to our hotel.