Steep streets, cable cars, big bridges
Trip Start Dec 28, 2007
64Trip End Aug 28, 2008
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Our full day in the city was spent riding the cable and street cars up and down the streets and wandering around Fishermans' Wharf. At Pier 39 we took in the views of Alcatraz, the bridges and some sealions before grabbing some lunch and sampling some of the biggest strawberries you have ever seen. We then headed along the streets past the TransAmerica Pyramid and had a ride on one of the famous cable cars which traverses the city up and down the steep streets. The operators are entertaining as they ring rhythms on the bell and you hang off the side like monkeys. We headed back to the wharf for dinner and found ourleves in a diner where Chris tried the snapper and Claire had ribs. But in America you don't just get a few ribs, you get 10! And a pile of vegetables. And bread. We also tried 'hush puppies' which are balls of deep-fried corn just because of the silly name.
The following morning we checked out early and headed back to the piers to catch our boat to Alcatraz. After a ride across the bay we grabbed a tour book and began our exploration of the rock. We saw the out buildings and civilian housing before entering the cell house and grabbing our free guide headsets (so don't laugh if you see any photos with us wearing orange and blue radio sets). The tour took us around the different corridors, in cells, through the dining halls and control room before showing us D-block where the naughtiest men were kept. A fascinating place topped off by meeting one of only five remaining ex-inmates. We then headed for the tram back to downtown but after waiting for nearly an hour in the sun we grabbed a taxi with another couple who used to live in Skegness, picked up a car and collected out bags from the hotel. Navigating San Francisco is easier aid than done as nearly every other street is one-way. Nevertherless we found our way via a the 'crookedest street', drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and headed inland towards Yosemite.