San Francisco - The Foggy City
Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
177Trip End Jun 12, 2007
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Our first day we just took a look around the city. We rode the Cable cars to Fishermans wharf which is very touristy but gives you good views of Alcatraz. The cable cars were good fun (if a bit touristy) and you get great views down the straight, hilly streets, that seem remarkably familiar. We walked up Telegraph Hill, one of the many hills, which gave great views of the city and more views down those iconic streets
We had booked tickets for Alcatraz so that was our destination for Thursday. It was interesting and nicely derelict - some of these places are over renovated, it was also surprisingly close to the mainland, only 1.6 miles out but the currents are strong and the water is cold so that it is very difficult to swim, although people do. The island has now been "given back to the birds" so is covered in poo. The recorded walking tour was good and took you to the cell block and pointed out everything you wanted to know, like Al Capone's cell. Again back to the weather, you think a prison in Calafornia would be quite nice but Alcatraz was so bleak, to have stayed there with the fog and cold looking out to all the life happening on the mainland must have been hell.
To get out of the city and the cold we took a tour to Napa and Sonoma the wine producing region just north of San Francisco, it was amazing the change in weather just travelling a little bit inland
Sonoma city was really nice small place, old adobe buildings and lots of nice places to eat obviously catering for the tour bus crowd including a great cheese shop with lots of free samples (less after we had invaded).
The second vineyard was Vinosa again small but considerably bigger than the first. Again not really my taste and not huge measures (our plan to get drunk wasnīt doing to well) but it was interesting to look at and in a beautiful setting, I haven't been to Tuscany but that is what I imagine it is like.
The third vineyard was Cline which was the biggest and also the most generous (yippee). It was set on the site of an old failed mission and they had a replica of the mission building built
On our final day in San Francisco we decided it would be a great idea to visit Muir Woods, an old growth red wood forest. We could have got a tour but there are lots of bike rental companies suggesting cycling over the Golden Gate bridge and getting the ferry back in a few hours, Muir woods only looked a little bit further so we though we would go there and make a day of it - oh my god it hurt! We looked and the map and there were half a dozen places marked as steep so we thought that it would be fine. The first hill we came to we got half way up and pushed! It turns out that the bike companies version of step doesnīt match ours! Anyway with a lot of pushing we got to Muir Woods and it was beautiful, the trees are so huge it is untrue and it smells so nice! We had our lunch there and took a wander around and got over the mornings cycling. Getting back on the bike made me realise I was going to be very saddle sore the next day, but we were taking another route home which didnīt look as hilly..... The supposedly flat bit soon got steep and we soon gave up trying to cycle. After about 1.5 miles of pushing I whacked my shin on the peddle sat down and refused to go on for about 5 minutes feeling close to tears and very miserable
I really enjoyed San Francisco and would definitely go back. Its a quick stop in Merced to visit Yosemite and then on to Las Vegas.
Dean: Of all the cities we have been to in Canada and the USA, San Francisco and New York are the two I would happily move to, for maybe 2-3 years. San Francisco was really nice, if they could just do something about the weather...