Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
29Trip End Nov 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
We got a ferry over and were processed in, kinda felt like going into prison actually...then we were given our audio tours (Language: American...bless them and their little cotton socks, bastards ;-) ) then off round the prison house itself. The audio tour was actually really good, took you round the whole area explaining the normal course of life on the island and various break out attempts. It ranged from discussing the paintings done by inmates while incarcerated to the punishment of solitary confinement, this could last for months and one prisoner described his sole source of entertainment as "flicking a button onto the floor, then searching for it in the darkness, again and again".
Had to say goodbye to Lenn and Yannic after this but was travelling with Kes for a couple days further which was good, really sucks to go from being surrounded by a group of good friends to knowing nobody again!
Finally got up (so nice being in a bed after weeks in tents...) and found a cute little place for late breakfast (Americans don't quite do traditional cooked breakfast, but instead have plate sized hashbrowns with beans,.eggs and most of everything else you could want!). We went for a walk exploring SF, went through Chinatown and relaxed in a park for a couple hours (another hilarious shouting guy, very patriotic this time) before heading up to the piers again.
Another relaxing day followed, went for another wander around the city, found ourselves at a park near the piers with a great view of the Golden Gate and had a picnic! We made friends with a cheeky seagull called Bob who tried to steal our food, then saw a beautiful sunset behind the bridge itself, awesome! (Yes Kes...your photos of the sunset were possibly better than mine! We shall have to compare...) then back to the hostel via the famous crooked street and a funky little bar (apple cider?? yes please!)
After a stunningly lazy day, I decided to get off my arse once again and went for a walking tour of SF, cancelled damnit! Instead I walked down to the Exploratorium (started by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer in 1969), a science museum where virtually every exhibit was interactive in some way, I can't begin to describe all the things there but it was pretty incredible! If you find yourself in San Francisco and fancy being surprised and entertained, get down there. Just wish I'd been there with somebody else to say "look, look at this one!"...I know I'm such a child...
Another early morning (honestly, I thought this was a holiday??) to go and pick up a 15 day greyhound pass from the station and book my ticket up to Portland, very exciting that I now have plans! Well "plans" may be opimistic, I have a destination for a while...
Anyway, I finished up my time in SF doing a free tour of the Civic Center, pretty awesome actually. One thing I particularly liked, there's a law that no state capitol building can have a taller dome than the capitol building in Washington, that's right a Law. Apparently as a city San Francisco avoids this and takes great pleasure in having one of the tallest domes in the world, 14 inches higher than the United States Capitol building.
After that it was back to the greyhound station with all my stuff for the exciting 20 odd hour trip to Portland!