Day 32 - 27/07/2002 - San Francisco USA
Had a late start (sleep-in) and spent the day sightseeing in San Francisco which was no easy task, considering that we were at the mercy of the San Francisco public transport system ... it is by far the worst public transport system out of any of the cities I have visited so far. At first, the cable cars were a bit of a novelty (if not a life threatening experience), but now the inefficiency of this system and the totally inadequate bus system is creating frustrations. For us to get between two of the most major tourist attractions, it would involved changing busses several hundred times (and waiting periods in-between) - even for a short distance of a few kilometres (it is as if the bus routes were derived from a random crayon drawing from a 5 year old child) ... and forget about walking, because the streets are filled with the most massive hills as the go up and down.
Other than that, San Francisco is a really nice place.
Some people say that it is the US city that is most like Sydney ... I guess this could be true, but I am not sure since I have not seen the rest of the USA yet.
One thing I did notice is that you can move between areas of luxury hotels, to ghetto slums, to fancy shopping complexes, to residential areas, to the beach, to china town, to classy areas within minutes ... it is quite strange and you feel as though you have just gone through a twilight zone ... in some areas, Greg thought he was going to get killed, but I assured him that we were safe..
We did some shopping at Union Square and I found my mini-heaven ... Comp USA. Well, not quite, but it was close to it ... it was a computer superstore, but I didn't get much time to check it out - why don't we have these in Australia? (I guess because we are not in the USA)
For lunch, we had some Dim Sum (Yum Cha) in San Francisco's massive China Town ... every second shop had Yum Cha and they would almost pull you off the street to enter their restaurants (in typical china town style) - I don't mind it ... I think it is funny (especially when they call out to you from across the street).
Went to visit Lombard Street which features in many films. It is the most crooked street in thew world? I can see why they film many car chase scenes in San Francisco ... the rolling hills and winding streets make good chase scenes.
Trekked to Golden Gate Bridge and walked over it. It is a very nice bridge set in a very nice place (nice scenery on the side opposite from the city), but the weather was bad (cold and cloudy) so it was not as enjoyable as it could have been. With the wind, I felt as though I was in an Antarctic Winter and not in the summer of San Francisco.
Went again to Fisherman's Wharf to check it out during daytime and visit Pier 39. A nice place to walk around.
For dinner we had some Thai which was great value at about AU$10 a head for some coconut curries (including prawns!) and rice.
As we walked around today, I noticed that lots of places clamed to have "the best breakfast in town" ... I thought it was strange that so many places could get away with making this bold claim ... especially in the USA (the home of suing people for cases like misrepresentation etc) ... but then Greg and I concluded that maybe they were simply quoting one of the customers who thought it was "the best breakfast in town"?