As much as I wasn’t looking forward to this trip (very long flight SG-LA) it totally exceeded my expectations! The conference was with plenty of useful information and plenty of time to network. Our hotel was right next to the famous Walk Of Fame with all the celebrity signatures and the famous Kodak theatre… and the parties during the conference were great :-)
Thanks to the Google that I'm managing, I had the chance to spend one week in San Francisco afterwards.
My hotel was located in central San Francisco. On my first day I immediately took the cable car through the city: started in Powell Street and went all the way to Fisherman’s wharf. The cable car is great fun, I was very happily standing on the stairs watching the world pass by, so I took it every day. They date back to 1889, there were attempts to replace them with public buses, but luckily due to public outcry the current lines had to be retained.
My first trip led to Fisherman’s Wharf. I loved this part of town, I immediately wanted to visit the famous Pier 39, which really isn’t a pier anymore instead it’s home to a very big colony of fur seals. I could have been looking at them the whole day, they are really entertaining. They all try to fight for some space on the pier and they all sleep stacked together next to each other, they all seem to be in some kind of a relationship with each other :-)
I have also found close to Fisherman’s Wharf the best and oldest bakery in town: Boudin Sourdough Bakery, very much recommended!
The fog was high enough that we had a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge as we passed under it.
I was delighted to see the humpback whales. They seemed to be a couple and one of them jumped up at just a few meters from us, absolutely amazing to see!!! This was probably one of the highlights of my trip!
Our naturalist on board noted that one whale had old scratches and bite wounds evident, perhaps from an orca (killer whale) encounter.
But we had plenty more encounters, a herd of over 300 Pacific white-sided dolphins intermixed with approximately 200 Risso's dolphins surrounded the vessel and everyone was able to get good looks with many dolphins taking turns riding the bow of the vessel. Other sightings included California sea lions, seals and plenty of bird life as the Farallons contain the largest seabird colony in the U.S. outside of Alaska and Hawaii.
If I’m back in San Francisco I’ll do this trip again!
I spent Saturday afternoon just walking. San Francisco is a great place to walk. I started with Chestnut street, a favorite amongst the locals and I passed by all the beautiful old houses. I would just mention the most famous Haas Lilienthal House which dates back to 1886.. But there are many beautiful old buildings all over the city. This is what makes it so nice, very European in a wayJ
I climbed up many hills with fantastic views on the financial district, the harbor, the Golden Gate Bridge, really great views from everywhere!
I have also visited the famous Lombard street , which is the crookedest street in the world, super steep! In the evening I eneded up at Ghirardelli Square, which is the oldest chocolate factory in town. Loved their chocolates, specially the chocolate creams!
I spent the next day wondering the streets again passing through China town and the beautiful Italian part of the city with plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from…And of course I shopped plenty…
All in all loved San Francisco and we’ll be back!