I arrived into San Diego much later than expected due to Greyhound incompetency which also had the unfortunate effect of reducing my already limited time to explore San Diego. After finding my hostel for the next two nights (conveniently located directly below the incoming flight path for all San Diego International flights), I visited a recommended local Italian (the hostel was in Little Italy, after all) where I was served an enormous portion of clam and mussel linguine. I waddled back to the hostel and made my bed for the night, my deep slumber serenaded by the descending 737s thundering down to earth.
Friday, 5th August 2011
Early in the morning I made my way to San Diego's famous Robert Walker Pancake house in Downtown San Diego for breakfast. Despite arriving early I was greeted by a long queue of hungry tourists all wanting to sample Robert Walker's legendary cuisine. Luckily the cover system was a quick moving one and it didn't take long to get seated, served my poached eggs, thickly sliced bacon, and tower of pancakes, and turfed out soon after I'd devoured the lot.
Fuel-tank full for the day's activities, I made my way to the bus to the Zoo and along the way had a quick snoop around the San Diego courthouse. I made my way to the famous San Diego Zoo and spent most of the morning and early afternoon there. To be honest, the whole Zoo experience has somewhat mellowed since I was a child, and I spent most of my time there fighting my way through swathes of children to get a glimpse at the animals which all seemed rather bored and fed-up of their own Zoo experience.
After a spot of lunch in the Zoo cafe (again, surrounded by irritating youngsters) I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Balboa Park with its interesting Mexican and Spanish influences.
Passageway, Balboa Park
Balboa Park also boasts the brilliant Spreckels' Organ Pavilion, one of the world's largest outdoor organs with over 4500 pipes.
Spreckels' Ogran, Balboa Park
Next along the route was the botanical gardens and its exotic plant-filled greenhouse.
I returned from Balboa Park to my hostel and relaxed and caught up on a bit of reading before talking a walk along the sea-front before heading downtown for some supper. The harbour walk from downtown up towards the airport is dotted with funky artwork by local artists. My favourite had to be this brass structure.
Walking up past Little Italy towards the airport provided a great vantage point from which to view downtown San Diego over the harbour.
Downtown over Harbour
Sea-side walk completed I meandered back along the path to downtown where I found a decent-looking tapas restaurant. The food was great, and the wine decent (if expensive). With my flight to Denver at 9am the next morning, I thought it prudent to get an early night. Unfortunately my good night's sleep was hardly facilitated by the thundering engines of the overhead air-traffic, but I managed to drag myself out of bed the next morning and make my way to San Diego International where I caught my flight to Denver, Colorado.