The next morning we were ready for our first trip into San Francisco proper. We had to take the shuttle bus to the airport from where we took the BART into town. At the wharfs we got out and proceeded on foot along the waterfront, taking about 30 minutes to reach Fisherman's Wharf. Decidedly touristy, it was still an enjoyable place and we managed to score some good fish & chips. Walking back we came across a hop on/hop off bus ticket salescabin and we thought we'd give it a go. Great way to see San Francisco, but the absolute nonsense coming out of our 'guides' mouth was very, very tiring very, very quickly. Still, we managed to suffer through it and it dropped us right off at the famous street trams which we'd have loved to take... If the line hadn't been that long. Instead we walked to a long pier offering us a view of the golden gate (in the clouds, again) and Alcatraz when the sun struck the island. From the waterfront we walked towards Lombard street (that squigly street) which was a bigger attraction for all the tourists there than for how it looked. Still, it was entertaining and offered some gorgeous views off the city from the top. Onwards from Lombard street we walked towards our dinner location but were diverted by the looks of a good bar where we had a beer first. At the bar we decided that the italian place, Trattoria Contadina, we walked past looked a sight better than the original restaurant we'd scoped out and we ended up going there instead.
And what an ace choice it was, the food was delicious as was the wine. Which had the unfortunate side effect that halfway through our walk to the BART Q desperately needed to find a bathroom. Only just managing to find one in time in some random luxury hotel along the way (I'm pretty sure they knew we didn't stay there by the looks they gave us).
So in case you missed our previous post. San Francisco is so, ridiculously expensive. As in, seriously RIDICULOUSLY expensive. This forced us to abandon our humble abode in South San Francisco and pitch up our new tent in one of the cheaper hostels in San Francisco. Unfortunately we could only set up a bit later as the room wasn't ready yet, so we went back to exploring San Francisco. First off was lunch. To get to lunch we had to walk a short distance to Mikkeller bar, a little piece of Sweden in the US. Apparently this short walk was through one of the dodgier streets of San Francisco filled with hobo's and drug addicts (we later learned the methadon clinic was nearby) which was a thoroughly unpleasant experience, but at least we learned to appreciate the welfare state :)
From there the plan was to take the BART onwards to the waterfront... but as we walked towards the station we came across the famous cable trams (which we still had to take). Neither of us felt much like walking, even queuing in line looked like a better option, so that is exactly what we did. Except despite the lenght of the queue we ended up skipping 3/4 of it. Apparently not everyone is keen to hang off the sides (admittedly more of a balancing act than either of us expected with our bags) so the drivers asked for volunteers from the rest of the line. Skipping 3/4 of the queue? Yes please! Off we went anxiously hanging on and hoping to dear god that one of the drivers didn't get too close. This ride took us right across the city and pretty much dropped us off at a bike rental place. For indeed, we Dutch do love to ride and having already walked one bridge in the US we felt it was easier/quicker/better to bike across the second. Not a bad ride to be honest. The wind was a tad annoying but the Golden Gate bridge is a lot more impressive to cross with a bike than with the car as we did earlier. However, we might've overestimated our biking abilities ever so slightly, because the whole ride there and back took us a bit longer than expected causing us to miss our appointment with Jennella (it all turned out for the best, she got to change and we got to chill) for drinks.
Not that we missed out on that! Jennella and Jesse picked us up to take us out for another night which we spent drinking more Margaritas (proper authentic ones) and eating a humongous calzone at one of their favorite places. We even managed to sneak in a few beers after, though the calzone made us both want to lie down and take a nap. Unfortunately it was again time to say goodbye to awesome people! For you Jennella and Jesse the invitation also stands to come visit us in Amsterdam :)
Back in the hostel we took only seconds to fall asleep. Only to be rudely awoken an hour later when the rest of our roommates filed in. When they were finally in bed, having already fallen asleep, one of them promptly woke me up again by coughing for the next hour or so. This was interchanged with one of the other two snoring and so they managed to wake me up every now and then to my great frustration. Q of course, had earplugs with her and hadn't noticed anything at all and had slept like a baby. Grrrr....
Having already been pre-packed the night before we were out of the hostel and headed to the airport. We made a quick stop right around the corner to get two snacks from Saigon Sandwich for breakfast (a tip from Jennella the night before) which we happily munched on as we walked our last meters through the US. The BART ride was uneventful into the airport where we spent the last of our dollars before boarding our 14 hour flight across the dateline...