After camping on the beach just south of San Francisco, we decided to drive into San Francisco on Sunday Morning, less traffic and hopefully great video and pictures while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to the Golden Gate Vista Point carpark and our overnight stop. BUT on Sundays and Public Holidays the Vista Point is closed. PFFFFF so we decided to continue north to our Tyre Dealer (90KM out of San Francisco)
Returning to San Francisco via the double decker Bay Bridge in the eastern part of the city we decided to have another go the next day at staying overnight at the Vista Point Carpark overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and the City of San Francisco, and another eastward crossing of the amazing Golden Gate Bridge. The Vista Point viewpoint became our overnight spot.
San Francisco is with around 810000 residents the fourth most populous city in California. But it is ranked number one in the USA based on per capita income. San Francisco is also called Frisco, Fog City or San Fran. One of the top tourist destinations in the United States, San Francisco is known for its steep streets, Golden Gate Bridge, Cable Cars, China Town, and Alcatraz.
The world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge is easily identified by its International Orange colour. Once it was called “the bridge that could not be build”, today it is one of the seven wonders of the world. Building of the bridge started in 1933 and the bridge was opened in 1937. 2.7 kilometres long and to support the suspended roadway 2 cables of 2.5 kilometres long each holding 64000 kilometres of steel wire; each are anchored in concrete on the shore.
San Francisco has more than 50 hills within the city limits. A few neighbourhoods are named after the hills like Nob Hill, Potrero Hill and Russian Hill with its famous Crooked Lombard Street also known as Zig Zag Street. However most visitors miss the reel steep streets such as Bradford Street. With a grade of 41% it felt like we were back in Bolivia (La Paz where we got lost and had to negotiate a 40plus grade street with our truck) or Filbert and 22nd street with a grade of 31%.
The small island of Alcatraz is just 2 kilometres offshore from San Francisco. The island was developed with a lighthouse and a Military prison. In 1934, the island became a federal prison named Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. The freezing temperatures made escape from Alcatraz nearly impossible, Alcatraz became one of the most known prisons in the USA. Alcatraz closed in 1963 Today Alcatraz is a major tourist attraction.
Alcatraz had some of the most notorious criminals in American history including Al Capone, Robert stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), George Machine Man Kelly and many more
During its 29 years of operation A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, 23 were caught alive, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as “missing and presumed drowned”.
The cable cars in San Francisco are a must do experience and when you jump on board you are climbing hills the same way San Franciscans did in the 1870s. The cable cars were invented nearly 150 years ago and are a National Historic Landmark.
Other places to visit in San Francisco are: Fisherman’s Warf, the sea lions at Warf 39, the Historic Centre in the Northeast of the city, China town not only the oldest in the USA but also the world’s largest, Union Square if you like shopping, Haig Street a popular hippie area and Valencia Street with lots of bars, small restaurants, and shops.
The homeless population in San Francisco is growing and has become a major issue, it surprises me that a wealthy country which spends lots of money on foreign aid allows its own citizens to sleep on the streets.
According to the local’s crime has become a major issue in particular car break ins (20000 in 2022) We were told to stay away from the suburbs of Tenderloin and the Bayview Hunters Point area (no good for staying overnight) due to high levels of drug abuse, gang violence, and robberies.
The nearby San Andreas Fault is responsible for much earthquake activity. The San Andreas Fault caused the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Minor earthquakes occur on a regular basis. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city’s infrastructure development.
Time to leave San Francisco and head north following Highway 1 along the coast towards the Oregon border.This entry was posted in Latest Update