Last month I made the trip across a pond and a continent to San Francisco: a city of paradoxical weather, implausibly ripe avocados and bikes galore, all sitting snugly between the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges.
Start your day in the Ferry Building, haven for middle-class food fanatics, with whole shops dedicated to single food stuffs (e.g. mushrooms, or beans) …..
…and head through to the back for a stunning view of the Bay Bridge.
Alternatively, blackmail a friend at Google to take full advantage of their splendid breakfast-with-a-view.
As you head down the Embarcadero, take care not to trip over somnolent San Franciscans…
…..and take a peek in the Exploratorium at Pier 17; it’s basically the Science Museum for grown ups.
Start the climb up a flower-strewn hill….
…taking in Grace Cathedral as you go…
…until you reach Coit Tower, a philanthropic gesture from a wealthy socialite in 1933.
Enjoy the Depression-era murals around its base, depicting San Francisco’s many different trades, public services and social stratum…
… before riding the lift to the windy top…
… where you can take in spectacular views of the Financial district!
Go back down the hill and carry on to Pier 39, where you can ogle (and smell) the city’s most famous residents: Californian sea lions…
…and gaze out to sea at Pier 41.
Now jump on your bike and freewheel all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, being sure to stop for a quick rest at Presidio Beach en route.
Full to bursting with burritos, take a boat across to Alcatraz for a surprisingly enjoyable and informative prison visit…..
…and end your day in the most fabulous way possible: with a drag show at Aunt Charlie’s in Tenderloin.
For a more relaxed pace, start your day with brunch at Plow….
and then casually happen upon the deliciously scented rose garden in the Golden Gate State Park…..
coming out at the other end to discover San Francisco’s windiest stretch, Ocean Beach, right on the Pacific.
All photos © Helena Cuss