Our guidebook features a walking tour of San Francisco so yesterday we followed it. The first destination was Chinatown, which was very reminiscent of some of the streets in China we'd walked down some three weeks ago.
Down a back alley we found the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. Apparently fortune cookies are a San Francisco invention, which explains why we hadn't come across any in China. We watched the cookies being made, tried a free sample, bought a bag and - after coughing up 50 cents - took a photo.
Deviating from the guidebook we found Lombard Street, located in the Russian Hill district, a sharply curved road lined with plants that - once again - seemed eerily familiar.
Yesterday was the fourth of July, and we couldn't help but notice the festive atmosphere. Independence Day celebrations centred on Pier 39, where an eighties tribute band called Tainted Love were playing. Here, we availed ourselves of another San Francisco original - clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl - at the bakery that claimed to have invented it.
We planned to stay out for the fireworks but the temperature dropped as soon as the sun dipped, so we returned to our hotel for warmer clothes. There was a real danger we wouldn't make it back - buses were so full they weren't stopping - but we managed to squeeze on one and arrived at the wharf in time for a magnificent display - the dominant colours being red, white and blue, natch.