After afternoon tea at The Rotunda, we walked through Chinatown again before hopping on the historic cable car, the Powell-Mason line, to head down to Fisherman's Wharf.
The cable car was totally awesome! If you are ever in SF you should try it at least once. There are 3 lines: Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde, and California. The Powell-Mason line goes to and from Market/Powell streets and Fisherman's Wharf. The Powell-Hyde line also goes to and from Market/Powell streets and the Aquatic Park at Ghiradelli Square, east of Fisherman's Wharf. Basically, both Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde lines will take you north-south to the pier and back. The California line goes east-west from Van Ness Avenue, through Chinatown, and the Financial District.
Out of the 3 lines, probably the Powell-Hyde and California lines have the best, as in the steepest, hills. You don't need special tickets or anything to get on these cable cars. They don't go super fast (may be 30mph?) and they do obey all traffic laws (sure hope so...), stopping at all stop signs or traffic lights, etc. When they do stop at any intersection, you can just hop on and then pay the ticketing guy on the car. If one car is too crowded, just wait for the next one to come in, like, 5 minutes xD Super easy. The fare is $7 per person per one way ride, cash only, and while that sounds expensive, trust me, it's worth the experience.
Anyway, I didn't sit but stood on the front side steps (like the picture below), hanging on with my left arm and filming with my right hand (videos 1, 2, and 3). The whole car was packed with tourists like ourselves, of course, so you will hear lots of talking, including the conductor/driver announcing each stop at the intersection ^.^ The videos couldn't capture how much fun the cable car was, of course, because the depth of the hills was totally lost on screen. And it's not like we rode the roller coaster or anything...
Arriving at Fisherman's Wharf, good thing we stuffed ourselves silly at that point, otherwise we would have gotten into so much trouble with all the yummy seafood there :X
View of Alcatraz (and giant cargo vessels!) from Fisherman's Wharf.
It gets pretty chilly down by the water too, and despite the sunny day my mum had to double up on jackets ^.^
After walking around Fisherman's Wharf, we decided to continue walking towards Pier 39. I mean, we could see it from the wharf so why not, right? Took a video of this too ^.^
A street performer and his audience.
Here's looking towards downtown SF from across from Pier 39.
Pier 39 and its famous dock of sea lions, attracting a huge crowd! Not sure how this came about but the sea lions just gather here to frolic in the water then dry off in the sun. There are a good many of them too, climbing all over each other on the dock LOL!
Here's watching people watching the sea lions ^.^
Getting tired of Pier 39, we took probably the most roundabout way through town to the next bus stop home, just to look around downtown SF.
The right picture is the iconic Transamerica Pyramid.