Telegraph Hill and Lombard Street

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One of the San Francisco landmarks you can easily see from the Fisherman’s Wharf area is Coit Tower which site atop Telegraph Hill.  I’ve often seen this tower and wondered what it was, and I’ve also previously wonderered where Telegraph Hill was, so going up to see both was good for me.

In fact the way it went today was Sarah Michael asked us about the tower as we were driving on the waterfront, because it reminded her of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  I didn’t know what it was, or what the hill or park was called, so I used Google Maps on my iPhone to determine that it was probably Pioneer Park.  Then a Google search informed us the name of the tower and the name of the hill.  Jessie and I got excited when we learned this was Telegraph Hill.

We were excited about Telegraph Hill because of the docmentary we’d seen, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, the subject about which I wager you can guess.  Jessie and I enjoyed the film (and we suggest you add it to your Netflix queue) and so to see the area in person would be special.

IMG_1224.JPGWe drove up the windy roads to get to the summit, then waited in a line of cars for a parking spot, then enjoyed the views from the park.  We didn’t go up Coit Tower, but from the park you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, and Treasure Island (where we’ll be tomorrow night), Alcatraz and more.

The weather also cooperated.  While the morning had been foggy and cold, by this time in the afternoon the clouds had broke, the blue sky revealed and the sun warmed us up.

After walking around the parking circle in the park we found a path that went down into the neighborhood just blow the park, as I hoped that we just might get lucky and see the parrots.  I wasn’t hopeful, though, I really had no idea where the on the hill the parrots like to visit.

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But we were lucky.  As we descended some steps we heard the sound of the parrots and saw a group of them fly into a tree just in front of us.  Before I could snap any shot, though, they flew away!  But they didn’t go far, I could hear their squaking just a few houses away.  Then one flew back to the tree in front of and I was able to get a shot of it (click here for large size).

Before we left I saw in the distance more of the birds flying around, and of course we could hear them, but no more landed close to us.

I was so pleased we were able to see the parrots, it really made my day.

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After Telegraph Hill we headed to the nearby and famous Lombard Street.

Everyone has seen this street in commercials, television shows and films, and we thought it would be fun to drive down it.

I was worried there might be a long wait, but thankfully there wasn’t.  There was certainly a lot of tourists both driving, walking and looking at the hill, but there wasn’t any major jam-up.  There was traffic, of course, so there was a lot of stopping on the hill, but it was something to do and it wasn’t a problem.

You’ll see in the movie the two yellow three-wheeled vehicles in front of us.  We saw these little rental vehicles all over the place, they look like a fun thing to rent.

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