|I got to San Francisco last night after a 7 hour shuttle bus ride from my hostel in LA to the partner hostel in San Francisco.
Today I took advantage of the free walking tour that the hostel does of San Francisco. Very handy as it was a good introduction to the city and if someone is taking you around you're less likely to get lost! Or if you do, you're lost with other people, hehe. Our first stop was Grace Cathedral, which was modelled on Notre Dame in Paris. I could tell that without being told, but still, it was really nice. But some kind of service was happening so we couldn't go in.
San Francisco is built on something like 43 hills, and we were informed we'd walk up 6 of them in the 3 and a half hour tour. We next passed Lombard Street, which has a section of very windy road in the middle of the city with beautiful gardens planted down it. Very famous, but it isn't the windiest road in the world, just the most famous!
We then carried on down towards Fisherman's Wharf, where we got to taste some chocolate at Ghiavelli's Square for free. And then we walked along the bayside, and saw some amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
We stopped for some lunch and then walked along Pier 39 to see the Sea Lions which congregate there. Also got to see Alcatraz out in the bay, then we walked through the shops/restaurants area. Darth Vader was there signing autographs. Well, not Darth Vader, but the guy who played him, Dave Prowse (I think). But it was a bit busy, maybe I'll go back tomorrow...
After Fisherman's Wharf we walked up through Little Italy, where the Church of St Peter and St Paul is, which is where Marilyn Monroe had her wedding photos taken and also where the Sister Act films were filmed. We then walked through Washington Square and through Chinatown, which was the most crowded and busiest part of the city or so it seemed!
We also went up to Coit Tower where there is a statue of Christopher Columbus and some amazing views over the bay and the city.
We ended our tour at Union Square, the main shopping centre of San Francisco. It was an excellent day and certainly the best way to see the city and I got to learn things I wouldn't have known if I had just wandered around on my own.