We arrived in San Francisco in the early morning and tried to sleep a couple more hours on the benches inside the Greyhound station. Then, we first enjoyed a wake up coffee at Starbucks and had a look at the ferry building at the water front. There even was a farmer’s market with delicious smells everywhere. But with our luggage it wasn’t so pleasant to walk a lot and therefore we looked for the BART metro to take a train to Oakland, where the motel we ended up booking was located.
In 15min we drove in a tunnel under the water to get to Lake Merritt station. Unfortunately, we couldn’t check into the room yet. Therefore, we went looking for a Laundromat. While our clothes were spinning, I went to look for an early lunch and walked right into the Chinatown street fest. Life looked a lot better with a free cone of cotton candy in my hand 🙂
I found delicious dumplings, which we then ate while our clothes were drying. By that time, we could finally drop our bags off in our room and get ready to go visit the city.
First we went to Haight St because JB needed some googles against the desert dust at the Burning Man festival. The street was bustling with people and it was fun to look at the colorful houses. After that, we took a bus and tried to get to Crissy Field to get a look at the Golden Gate Bridge.
We came past the Palace of Fine Arts which is a very impressive building and there were about three wedding parties which were taking pictures.
We proceeded to the seafront and made our way towards Golden Gate Bridge. It was quite a long walk against the wind but at least the sun was shining and the bridge wasn’t covered in fog. Finally, we reached The Warming Hut café. There is a little pier from which you have a beautiful view on the whole bridge.
Then, we walked up the path to get to the top of the bridge and then took the bus to get back into town. Our 3 hour 2$ ticket was still valid.
We drove to the North Gate quarter and had a look at the bars and pubs from the outside. Little Italy seemed to have a lot of nice places to eat but since we had pizza several times, we decided to find something in Chinatown.
After that, it was quite cold and since we hadn’t slept enough the night before, time to return to the bed. I still had to book my transportation to Seattle for the next day. I would have liked to stay another night in San Francisco but JB was leaving too and I didn’t want to spend so much money on a motel room for myself. Of course, the Greyhound bus was now fully booked too and therefore, I decided to take the Amtrak Coast Starlight train. The trip would go 22h30min. I didn’t know before that there was no easy option to get to Portland or Seattle. But the ground way was still a lot cheaper than flying and the train would give me a different form of transportation on the US west coast.
At least, now we both had another full day in San Francisco, since my train was leaving at 9pm the next day and JB’s bus to Reno at midnight.
We enjoyed a comfortable sleep in a bed and were only woken up by the earth quake that was going on for about 6 seconds. It was the strongest one I’ve ever felt.
Back in San Francisco the next morning, I stored my suitcase at the Amtrak station. For the ticket price I paid I would have expected friendlier people with a better work motivation at the station but perhaps the people who worked that day just didn’t like working on a Sunday.
JB and I walked along the waterfront from Pier 1 up to Pier 35, where we had a look at the shops, restaurants and seals and then tried a fish&chips. We continued a little until we reached the park in front of Ghirardelly Square. To my advantage, we received some free chocolate samples. We relaxed in the park for a while, with a nice view on the Golden Gate Bridge and then made our way back along the Piers. I had a clam chowder in a bread bowl for dinner. I was a bit disappointed because I probably had only about 3 clams in it. After that, I had just enough time to go buy something to drink and eat for the long train journey ahead.
A bus came to pick me and some other travelers up at the Amtrak station, to bring us to the train station. I hugged JB goodbye. He wants to go on travelling for another year and perhaps our paths will cross again somewhere along his trip. The last 10 days had been so much easier in many ways. We could share all the expenses, always had somebody to talk to and could try each other’s foods and drinks instead of having to choose one thing because you can’t eat more than one. But I realized that I had hardly any alone travelling left. In another 10 days I would fly to my host family and friends in New York and after that visit a friend in Honduras and well, then it’s time to take a plane in direction home.
I left San Francisco in a bus over the bridge to Oakland and could enjoy a view on the city by night. There would have been a lot more to see and do in San Francisco but I’ll have to postpone this to another time. Our stay here was short but with this nice weather that we had, the city with its parks was very enjoyable.