A Travellerspoint blog

Cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge

Arrived into San Francisco yesterday afternoon from San Diego and arrived at the HI Downtown Hostel near Union Square at 5pm. In a 4 bed girls dorm - great room and overlooks the busy Mason Street below. It is not cheap at $65 USD each plus taxes a night!!! We are right in the heart of shops and restaurants and grabbed some veggie rolls from a nearby Walgreens food supermarket.

Union Square is a great area, very safe despite its closeness to theTenderloin area and the many homeless people. It is the central shopping, hotel, and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks. The area got its name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the Civil War.

We put out names down to go on the Golden Gate Bridge Cycle in the morning and left from the hostel at 9am to walk 1 block to collect our bikes. It was a great value day and cost $33USD - $23 for the bike hire wth insurance and $10 for our return ferry ticket from Sausalito. Our lovely guide Elle is employed by the hostel and took us and it was a nice small group of 8 of us . We rode 20km on a mixture of busy streets and paths.

The day started out overcast with some drizzle but quickly improved and was a beautiful sunny day with a ice cool nip in the air.

We managed to miss all the VERY steep hills San Francisco is famous for...well on the organised bit... I did some later in the day on my own!

We went straight down to the waterfront to Pier 1 and past all the piers - stopping at Pier 39 to watch the sea lions who are noisy and hilarious as they climb over each other lying on these floating platforms to stop them climbing onto peoples boats!!!

It use to be a freeway along here but it was badly damaged in the1989 earthquake and was pulled done and refurbished as a lovely waterfront area.

There were 2 large cruises ships in dock snd Fishermans Wharf had so many restaurants. We rode past Coit Tower on the left and the steep hills running up behind Fishermans wharf. Then on to the expensive neighbourhood of Marina to the Palace of Fine Arts built in the early 1900's for an expo - felt like I could have been in Europe with Greek columns and sculptures around a pretty man made lake. The homes in this area are 3- 4 million each - very small and have no earthquake insurance!! No homes in San Fran have yards and most houses are joined

The Presidio is an old Military area turned into museums and there is a large military cemetery with row upon row of white tombstones. We stopped at several viewpoints of the bridge and by now the day was stunning and quite warm but the breeze was cool if you were in the shade. The bridge itself is 3km long and was built in 1935.

On the other side were the barren treeless hills of Marlin Head and views to the Pacific Ocean and south to Ocean Beach. It was an easy downhill ride to the cute little bay town of Sausalito where we had an hour to chill and ate a lunch of fish and chips. We were booked in on the 2pm ferry back and it was a very pleasant 30 minute journey with great views of the bridge, Alcatraz and the San Franciso skyline, ending back at Pier 1 at the Port of San Francisco clock Tower !

The others went back to drop off the bikes and I rode back along the waterfront back to Polk St to the end of all the piers and then some gruelling uphill to get to Lombard Street , the famous crookedest street in the world seen in many movies. These hill were so steep I was puffing and panting just walking my bike up them and had to stop for several rests!

I then rode through the Russian Hill neighbourhood, seeing several cable car with people hanging out them, through Japantown to Alamo Square where the famous Victorian houses called the Painted Ladies are. I got back at 4.30pm and my legs felt like jelly. Such a great day and love where we are staying - has the cool city vibe going on

Sea Lions at Pier 39

Sea Lions at Pier 39


Noisy Sea Lions

Noisy Sea Lions


Crawling over each other

Crawling over each other


Behind are the Hills of San Fran

Behind are the Hills of San Fran


Waterfront docks

Waterfront docks


Lovey trees in front of another HI Hostel

Lovey trees in front of another HI Hostel


Military building and heading to that bridge

Military building and heading to that bridge


View back to Alcatraz

View back to Alcatraz


These houses cost  3 - 4 million each

These houses cost 3 - 4 million each


Marina

Marina


Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts


Presidio area

Presidio area


National Cemetery

National Cemetery


3km Bridge

3km Bridge


Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge

Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge


View to city from bridge

View to city from bridge


Leigh at Sausalito

Leigh at Sausalito


Sausalito

Sausalito


Lombard Street - worlds crookedest street

Lombard Street - worlds crookedest street


Lombard Street

Lombard Street


Steep hills looking to Coit Tower

Steep hills looking to Coit Tower


City Hall in the Civic Centre area

City Hall in the Civic Centre area


Japantown

Japantown


Pier 1 Port of San Francisco

Pier 1 Port of San Francisco


Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts


Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts


Entry to Palace of Fine Arts

Entry to Palace of Fine Arts


Chrissy Field to City

Chrissy Field to City


Dome of Palace of Fine Arts with city behind

Dome of Palace of Fine Arts with city behind


Bridge viewpoint

Bridge viewpoint


Leigh

Leigh


In front of the Golden Gate Bridge

In front of the Golden Gate Bridge


Another one of me

Another one of me


Leigh and I with our bikes

Leigh and I with our bikes


Clouds are clearing over the bridge

Clouds are clearing over the bridge


Selfie stick fail - can't see the bridge!

Selfie stick fail - can't see the bridge!


Leaving Sausalito

Leaving Sausalito


Sun shining on the water

Sun shining on the water


Shipping container heading out to sea

Shipping container heading out to sea


Cruise ships in port

Cruise ships in port


Alcatraz

Alcatraz


Coit Tower on the hill

Coit Tower on the hill

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in USA

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login