Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day 78

I woke up with a 38 minute run to get the blood flowing this morning. It was quite boring as the hotel was in an industrial park area but I managed to find our other hotel and stretch the legs a bit.

I cleaned up, spent some wifi time and then we checked out at 12:00. It was a mile and a bit to the Residence Inn. We checked in and found we had a really nice room with a full kitchen, an office and lots of space.

We got the free shuttle from the hotel to the airport and then bought tickets for BART! The name of the Bay Area Rapid Transit reminded us both of Homer shouting 'BART!' whenever we had to get the train. We quickly discovered that the subway is very dear here - over ten dollars for a return trip! Forty five minutes later we were in Powell Street Station in downtown SF.

One of the first things we saw was a cable car coming down Powell Street.

We were both hungry so we got some sambos in a little deli on the corner just off Powell Street. More sambos made with love - they really hit the spot.

We were now ready to explore a bit so we walked past Union Square.

And then onto Columbus Avenue which led us into Chinatown.

We went all the way through Chinatown and onto Columbus Avenue which took us into the Italian Quarter called North Beach. There were bars, cafes and restaurants everywhere. And of course some establishments of possible ill refute.

We hung a left onto Lombard Street and made our way to the 'famous' section referred to as the 'crookedest road in the world'. The inclines on the hill were incredible and required a bit of effort to climb.

When we got to the crooked bit there were so many people and traffic but a bit of patience and hanging about left me with this shot.

We walked over a block and then made our way to Telegraph Hill and over to Coit Tower. More hills and challenging topography!

Coit Tower was built in 1933 at the bequest of Lillie Hitchcock Coit in an effort to make the city look better. Many people believe that the tower was designed to look like a fire hose nozzle. Seemingly, Ms Coit had somewhat of an affinity with the San Francisco firefighters in the Knickerbocker Engine Company Number 5. The tower has an art deco design and is 210 feet high.

The views from the tower were really good and the sun had begun to move low in the sky, creating a bit of atmosphere.

We walked back into North Beach (thankfully it was all down hill) and decided that it was finally time for a beer. Paulo had spotted a place on Columbus Avenue that had two dollar beers. But when we arrived, we realised that we had missed happy hour. Not to worry, Anchor Steam was only four dollars and Session was only three! We had a couple and watched the A's game on tele. The place was covered in Steelers & Pirates memorabilia and I found out that the owner was from Pittsburgh. It turns out that he had moved to SF and decided to open a bar in the style of Primanti's in Pittsburgh. The place is called Giordono Brothers.

After a few beers, we were both a bit pecky so we searched high and low for somewhere that would still serve us some food. It wasn't easy but we found E Tutto Qua and had some quality Italian food. I had a panini and Paulo went for the pasta. Both were great.

As tempting as it was to stay out we had to get one of the last BARTs home and get some sleep as we had an early start in the morning ahead of us.

We got the BART! but it only went as far as Daly City so we had to get a Joer back to the hotel. It was dear - $35.00 but we made it back by midnight and were happy for it.

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