Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Portugal - California 2004

A gentle re-introduction

I had no really adventurous plans for the main part of the day. After such a long journey and time change, I was content to spend my first day on a relatively easy schedule, gently reacquainting myself with one of my favourite cities. What better place to start than on my own doorstep? But first, I should really mention that I began the day by treating myself to breakfast at the Top of the Mark, the famous cocktail bar at the top of the Mark Hopkins, which offers stunning views over the city. It was quite an experience, especially as I had an excellent corner table.

Once outside, I explored the immediate neighbourhood, including Grace Cathedral and the Cable Car Museum. (Yes, thank you, I know I did that in March as well! ) Then I jumped on a cable car to Fisherman's Wharf, riding the running boards in true San Francisco style   I had a look around the Maritime Museum and, for the first time ever, Hyde Street Pier. I hadn't even realised that the SS Balclutha came all the way from Scotland! By intentionally indirect means - let's just call it the long way - I found my way to that well-known tourist spot, the crookedest street in the world. From there, I walked to Washington Square and climbed all the way up to the base of the Coit Tower on foot. Not necessarily recommended! I rode the elevator to the top of the tower and enjoyed the excellent views. Having climbed all the way up, I descended Telegraph Hill by bus. (Note to self : I really think this could have been better planned!) Then I made my way back to base so that I could freshen up and relax for a bit.

In the evening, I was delighted to meet up again with fellow FlyerTalker sftrvlr, now better known to me as Bruce, whom I had first met back in March while on my RTW trip. We had cocktails at the Top of the Mark as the sun set over the city and the lights came on in the skyscrapers, then we walked downhill to Chinatown for an enjoyable dinner. It was great to see a new friend again and hopefully we both enjoyed catching up with each other's news. I got back to the hotel shortly before 10pm, riding the California Street cable car for the three or four blocks rather than make the punishing climb on foot.  

Wed 15 Sep

Next Day

Previous Day