AMAZING SAN FRANCISCO, “The City By The Bay” (part 2)

Gem & Lita at the Fisherman’s Wharf

Riding the iconic cable car of San Francisco, we headed to the popular “Fisherman’s Wharf”, undoubtedly the most touristy area of this amazing city. Other than wandering the wharf past the line of adorable cafes, bakeries and seafood restaurants with various stands outside selling lobster and crab rolls, jumbo shrimps, also handy cocktail drinks, we also enjoyed watching hordes of seals and sea lions basking on the decks. The wharf is also home to the famous “Dungeness Crabs” (heart-shaped with bulky bodies) and fast-food style but delicious sourdough chowder bowls that are ready to satisfy hungry appetites. Unforgettable food experience was the lunch at a restaurant called “The Fog Harbor Fish House” where we had excellent seafood platter of clam chowder, salmon and shrimps with medium-done filet mignon.

Immediately noticeable at the wharf are the tacky tourist stores selling souvenir sweat shirts of various hues with the words “San Francisco” emblazoned across the chest.

Worth a visit at the wharf is the “Musee Mecanique” a family-owned museum operated since 1933 containing a collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and games and antique-penny arcade artifacts including musical boxes, coin-operated photo booths, dioramas and peep shows. Most of them are still operational!

From the Fisherman’s Wharf we jumped on a tram (in addition to the historic cable cars, San Francisco has a collection of vintage trams), travelling along the waterfront to another tourist spot, the “Aquarium of the Bay” for a naturalist-guided tour walking through a glass tunnel with sharks and other big fishes swimming above you and learn more about the local marine life – such as the otters, moray eels, jellyfish, and anchovies. From our experience the tram system is the cheapest and most efficient convenient way to explore the city.

Also from here you can pick up the ferry to the small island in San Francisco Bay, the Alcatraz, the 1934-1963 Federal Penitentiary – the maximum security prison once home to the toughest criminals in the world.

Another highlight at the wharf is a place known as the “Embarcadero”, the place to embark and walk by the iconic 1898 Ferry Building with its Clock Tower. Here you’ll find also restaurants such as the acclaimed “Slanted Door”, gourmet shops and an open market.

Plenty of other highlights await in The City By The Bay including the Chinatown of San Francisco, the largest Chinese community outside of China itself and of course, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge