Day #40 - What Goes Up, Must Come Down!

Time to do some sightseeing! After couple of days of hanging out, it was time to resume our goal of seeing new things and exploring the wonderful places we're visiting. 

So first off today was to one of San Francisco's literal high points - Coit Tower. It was built in 1933 with a bequest from Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite who loved San Francisco and its firefighters (say no more!) however, the tower is not designed to look like a fire hose nozzle, as is commonly believed. There are some lovely murals inside the tower's base were painted during the Great Depression by a group of local artists that depict various industrial scenes. 

We decided against paying to climb the 488 steps to the top, having visited the top of several similar towers - plus since the tower is at the top of a hill, you still get some great views across the city from the area around its base. 
We had been a little lazy in taking a cab to Coit Tower to save us the walk up the hill, so we had no excuses when it came to heading back down. San Francisco is of course famous for its steep hills, some of which which reach an angle of 41% (1:2.4)! 
Fisherman's Wharf is a well known tourist spot which sits at the base of the hill we were on and it offers stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the San Francisco Bay.
Alcatraz Prison
Fisherman's Wharf is now also home to a colony of sea lions, who can be seen basking in the sun on the docks. They started using the jetties and landing docks soon after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake when they invaded the K Dock, their now beloved spot. What made this different from years before was a larger-than-normal herring run in the bay, which attracted them. They now stay because here is a plentiful supply of food in the San Francisco Bay, and the docks at Fisherman's Wharf provide a safe place for them to rest and sunbathe. Additionally, the sea lions are protected from predators at Fisherman's Wharf, as white sharks and orcas do not typically enter the bay.

The most famous part of Fisherman's Wharf is Pier 39 which most Brits will liken it to a classic seaside pier but American style! A collection of seaside style attractions, mini-fairground rides, restaurants, food stalls and novelty shops populate this area and it has the added advantage of affording you some great views of the bay area and the skyline. We stopped for lunch here and were blessed with glorious sunshine while we dined alfresco. 
Today was of course Halloween. This as everyone knows is a bit deal in America, with lots of decorating and dressing up. Halloween has been building ever since we arrived in the US. When we were at Disney in September, the parks were already decorated with a Halloween theme. Since we are stiff upper lipped Brits, we of course did not participate in any dressing up or "Trick or Treating" and instead opted for a quite evening of telly with friends! Today also marks two years together for James and I and so we took time to mark the small but significant moment.


  1. I did wonder what the picture was with the flames on top. It didn't look real.

    1. It was weird when I first saw it since I did think it was a building on fire! After Halloween they were projecting wibbly-wobbly shapes.


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