March 2013 Trip to California: San Francisco

During our stays at the Sheraton Pleasanton and the Clarion Hotel in Concord (more on that in a later installment of this trip report) we took a few BART rides into San Francisco to explore different parts of the city. While we stayed at the Sheraton we could easily walk to the nearest BART station. From the Clarion it was a short drive to the nearest BART station.

When going into San Francisco we usually exit at Powell St Station and so we did it each time during this trip. There is the Westfield City Centre mall, the turntable of the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines, as well as a vending booth of San Francisco’s MTA.

We did not have breakfast at the hotel(s) but in San Francisco on all four days we entered the city. Three times we bought something at Bristol Farms inside Westfield’s food court and once we went to the Denny’s just the next street. We like to go to Denny’s, however, that one does not have a nice atmosphere. It has the charm of an uninspiring train station.

Bristol Farms has lots of choices and we used the hot and salad bars where you could stuff all kinds of food into cardboard baskets and pay by the pound.

Anyway, after filling our stomachs we went outside to the MTA booth and bought ourselves 3-day passes which are valid on buses, light rail, streetcars, and cable cars.

Areas we covered were the Golden Gate Park, Alamo Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square. On one day we also went to the Fairmont Hotel because a colleague of Karin wanted to have some photos taken of that hotel. So we did that.

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Golden Gate Park


Golden Gate Park


Alamo Square


Alamo Square

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Fairmont Hotel

After taking a few shots we then went inside the nearby Grace Cathedral. It is always something special to move around a church or a cathedral. Amazing.

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Grace Cathedral


Cable Car

On one day we had dinner at the Fog Harbor Fish House where we met a friend who lives near Berkeley. We phoned and exchanged a couple text messages to arrange our meeting. He arrived very late because of traffic but in the end we had a good time with some good food.

The other days we had dinner outside of San Francisco, all times we met with our friend. One time  we went to a Black Angus in Pleasant Hills which was our choice. The other two dinners we had at places that our friend had recommended. The first one was not such a great place with a rather limited menu. The other one, however, was quite good. It was an Italian restaurant that offered some great pizzas. Not the pan pizza kind of thing but wood fired pizzas with a thin crust.

All in all we had a great time. We enjoyed it to criss-cross San Francisco using several different modes of public transportation. Once we even had a cable car all for ourselves when we took the California line. That was fun!

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