One delightfully cool foggy San Francisco morning my husband and I took a Golden Gate ferry ride over to Sausalito to spend a few hours there sightseeing.
We sailed away from the historic Ferry Building located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street. Opened in 1898, the Ferry Building's 245-foot-tall clock tower modeled after the 12th century bell tower in the Seville Cathedral in Spain, and it was once the highest building in San Francisco. At its peak, as many as 50,000 people a day commuted by ferry.
The inside of the ferry building has been renovated to contain shops of all kinds, offering everything from artisan cheeses to the freshest of local fish. Restaurants and cafes serve cuisine representing the quality and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s best chefs.
I've been smiling at comments that I've been receiving lately that tell me that I am a good tour guide. That is such a nice compliment but in reality I am just an enthusiastic traveler and I get very excited about seeing new things! Who else would practically hang off the back of a fast moving ferry to get a shot like this? I love to learn more about places I visit, and blogging has given me a wonderful venue to read, research and transfer the information I find to each location photo in a travel journal. I'm learning along with all who read my posts!
I loved this photo of the foggy weather that seems to hang over San Francisco many mornings and evenings during the summer months. The city is bordered on three sides by water, between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Summer temperatures of the surrounding cities can have temperatures easily reaching into the low 90s to low 100s F. The heat produced by inland temperatures, combined with the cool water of the Bay and Pacific Ocean, causes the air near the ground to cool to dew point temperature, causing water in the air to condense, and this creates the fog seen lying over the city.
The ferry passes the Island of Alcatraz, also known as "The Rock" It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and contains the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary. I took a tour of the Alcatraz Federal Prison on my last trip to San Francisco. It was functioning as a prison from 1934-1963, and was the subject of many Hollywood movies. It is a fascinating place to visit, and a very popular tourist destination, so if you wish to see it order your ferry tickets ahead of time as they often sell out!
Our ferry is approaching the beautiful water front city of Sausalito, in Marin County, California. You can watch a nice video about Sausalito here.
Sausalito is also accessible from San Francisco by driving to it over the Golden Gate Bridge, which you can see in the distance in this photo.
There was still some lingering fog over Sausalito the morning we arrived but it soon dissipated. The city is often compared to the Mediterranean. What do you think? We happened to be riding the ferry with a large group of Italian tourists. When we approached Sausalito many of them exclaimed:" Che Bella!" which translates in English to "How beautiful!"
Another view of the fog blanketing San Francisco from the shoreline of Sausalito. Just a small part of the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland is visible on the left.
My husband and I spent a few hours walking along the shoreline promenade in Sausalito, visiting the many boutique shops and art galleries along the way.
We sat by the marina for awhile and just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful day.........
..... as we watched the sailboats drift by.
On the return ferry ride to San Francisco we saw much more of the Golden Gate Bridge as the fog had almost lifted.
In the photo above you can see some of the steep hill streets of San Francisco
The Financial Center comes into view along with the tallest and most recognizable skyscraper, the pyramid Transamerica Building. This web site has many interesting FAQ's about the building.
We can also see the 284-foot high Telegraph Hill which has the 210 foot the Coit Tower on top. Someday in the future I'll show you the view from the top of the tower and our walk down Telegraph Hill's Filbert Steps, perhaps one of the most famous of San Francisco's stairways. I feel a kinship with Telegraph Hill because it is also famous for the wild parrots that live there. I'm sure many people would also be surprised to learn that wild parrots also live in Brooklyn, New York, where I live, See my blog post about them here.
We are back to sunny skies over the Port of San Francisco's Ferry Building. It was a wonderful day, but of course dinner was awaiting ....
......and we dined in this wonderful little restaurant, that came highly recommended, called Wexler's, located in the Financial District at 568 Sacramento Street, between Leidesdorff Street & Montgomery Street.
Cozy and intimate inside, it was filled with lots of young and hip diners....
...and it had a beautiful bar area.
We were very pleased with our dinner! Everything was outstanding! Wexler's is famous for their gourmet California barbeque and they have a menu full of wonderful choices which changes seasonally to reflect what is fresh in the markets. We could not chose between the delicious sounding appetizers so we shared three of them! I'm sorry for the blurriness of the photographs but I did not have my camera lens set correctly for low light.
From top middle of the photo collage above there is "BBQ Scotch Eggs" served with house made hot sauce and sweet tea gastrique. Next was the "BBQ California Quail" served over baby mustard greens, with a warm shallot vinaigrette and smoked blueberry-tarragon jam. Second row left is the "Smokey Chicken Liver Mousse" served with smoked onion gelée, pearl onion marmalade, golden raisins, and knead patisserie brioche. We actually dived into the liver mousse so quickly when it was served that we almost forgot to take a photo, so it is missing an edge.
Our entrees were (middle lower photo) "Smoked Short Ribs" with summer squash aigre-doux, mashed potatoes, and (lower right photo) "BBQ au jus Cornmeal Crusted Skate" with pulled pork stuffing, savoy cabbage, whole grain mustard, and crème fraîche. Obviously we were too full for dessert, but there were many nice selections on the menu. If you are visiting San Francisco I highly recommend that you make a reservation to dine for lunch or dinner at Wexler's, as I think you'll really enjoy their unique and delicious cuisine!
There is so much of the color blue in this post I've decided to add it to Smiling Sally's blog "Blue Monday" event! I hope you'll visit her today and enjoy the funny cartoons she's posted, and to find the links of other blogs participating today. Thanks Sally!