San Francisco: Pier 39 and Russian Hill

One thing I noticed in Northern California aside from few wearing coats in February was around 19.00 it’s almost like San Francisco streets emptied. In Barcelona the streets are still full of bustle and hustle at 19.00. Even the residential streets walking along from San Francisco’s city centre to Pier 39 were quiet. Pier 39 had a little more energy as did the centre, everything in between left us asking where everybody went.

The buildings walking down to Pier 39 in the more residential streets were amazing. While each building was more of less the same, the facades were the stars, the steps the main stars in the older part of the city. I’d have loved to see them in daylight but maybe I wouldn’t have noticed them with people around. Many town houses are spilt into apartments and there’s no way I’d want a basement apartment no matter how pretty the steps. I need sunlight!

DSCF9743 Who looks up at street sign names? The rest of the world apart from San Fransisco and probably the rest of USA.

Pier 39 turned out to be tourist kiss me quick almost like a village theme park. If you’re left handed it’s the place to be as it has a left handed store, Lefty’s! I’m mixed handed (about 70% right and 30% left depending on what I’m doing). I’d been looking for left handed nail scissors to cut climbing tape taping up my right hand. I practically skipped to the store, leaving happy with left handed nail scissors. The store’s run by lefties. The cash desk, calculator, everything at the cash desk is left handed set up. I felt a bit of a fraud hoping they wouldn’t catch me out not being a true lefty excited over scissors.

In the UK Greenwich is in London, Stockton (on Tees), up North! Stockton here’s named after a Robert StocktonA little taste of the hills to come on the way back

A little disappointed we heading to the pier’s promenade listening to sea lions nosily argue for sleeping space. Their oink roars coming out the dark from their floating platforms. Alcatraz was just visible in the fog as was I think either USS Pampanito or SS Jeremiah O’Brien.

Sea lions just under the blue building! DSCF9812I’m still not patience enough for long exposures so the best Alcatraz shot I got.

Trying and failing to get an Uber back from Fisherman’s Wharf just up from Pier 39, I think purely on the location of the car park, we decided to walk back to the car. Google maps know everything. Walking to the pier it was flat. Back to the car was all up hill. I mean this was a serious hill. The whole area’s called Russian Hill that has you near the top not even looking up, just down as you wanted it over. What goes up, must go up some more thanks to optical illusions at cross roads making it seem like the hill was done. We didn’t take the steepest road in San Francisco, Filbert Street, we walked up Jones Street which crosses it. It’s so steep in parts cars have to park horizontally at 90 degrees. Crazy! San Franciscans have some serious parking skills and legs. An old man we passed and a lady in stilettos get respect.

Little dip. Macondary I think is the little alley that looked liked it had pretty gardens. Google says yes.

I’m glad we didn’t get an Uber back. Daylight would have been amazing to see everything however the glow of the street lights made the journey go quicker as you couldn’t see what was up ahead. Again the buildings were amazing. European in style, yet knew 100%  American. Just like walking to Pier 39, walking back by the piers and only at last block on the hill it got busy again hitting the city centre. Hardly anybody out in-between. Side streets lead to views of the bay or alleys with cute gardens (don’t hold me to that. It was dark!). We would’ve missed all the hills if we’d got an Uber back.

I thought Jones Street would never end. Just when you thought looking up at the next block it went downhill it levelled out to go up hill some more! Better than an Uber! This wasn’t even the steepest part of Jones Street, the last block but it was the only block to have mini steps and hand rail. It could have been the steepest. The last few blocks my calves didn’t know the difference. I was tempted to see if it still works 😂 Everest 

I’d love to go back in daylight to explore Macondary lane, the tilted houses, Colt Tower. Maybe one day!



  1. says:

    Why were you only there at night?

    1. says:

      We only had 3 days in San Francisco and wanted to pack a lot in! We spilt the days up into the city centre, botanical gardens and Muir Woods. Everyday was packed!

      1. says:

        Sounds like it was a fun trip.

      2. says:

        It was thank you! Every day packed, but we had fun!

Leave a Reply