San Francisco

Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

San Francisco is class. We were anxious it wouldn't live up to expectations - but it has. A five hour plane ride from Miami; it's a lot colder so we had to rummage at the bottom of our bags for hoodies again.
We had been forewarned by a San Franciscan in Miami, that our Hostel was located in the Strip Bar area. He was right, but San Fran couldn't be seedy even if it tried.
The first day we took a walk around trying to find a place to print off an email. 12 dollars an hour for Internet here, that's higher than Venice prices! After i picked Grechy up off the ground from the shock, we went back to the Hostel which has free Internet and asked them could we print at reception.
We went to the Tram Museum which we didn't expect much from, but was actually very enjoyable. It's free and you can see how the Tram system works in the city. All the cables run through the Museum so when the Mason line kept breaking down we were there to witness some very stressed employees. We were thinking about the poor folks on the cable car because it kept stopping every few minutes, when we walked out there was the Tram and two conductors pushing it up the street!
The following morning we rented bikes (which is 37 dollars - we got 10 off with a brochure from the hostel) and headed for Golden Gate Bridge. Ms. Clodagh Burke emailed us from Dublin and suggested we go to Sausalito which is the other side of the bay. So, we set off at 9am via Fort Point which protected San Francisco harbor from Confederate & foreign attack during & after the U.S. Civil War. It's now a Museum.
We made it to Sausalito which is a quaint little town, full of tourists on bikes! We had fish and chips, cycled the main street to the beach and got the ferry back to the city. In the afternoon we cycled around the city, stopped off in Castro which is the gay area, very funky bars, shops and restaurants. Back on the bikes to Golden Gate park (ok we had to get off at times to push them up a few hills), we stopped there by the lake and headed back to the Hostel for our free dinner. Another early night. Absolutely shattered!
We booked Alcatraz a month ago, just as well as it sells out weeks in advance. Did the Early Bird visit (24 dollars pp). There's a free Audio Guide. Former Prisoners and Prison wardens give the tour - really, really impressive.
On our return to the city, we walked Fisherman's Wharf, visited the Boudin Bakery, (they were the first bread bakers in the city and are famous for their Clam Chowder in a Sour bread bowl. We ate the bowl - both times!) it gives the history of Boudin bread and a good history of San Francisco also.
There's a Jazz Festival on at the moment so we went to Washington Park, three blocks from the Hostel and spent the afternoon listening to music.
We got two new room mates that evening who were far can i put it...NORMAL than the previous ones. So the four of us hopped on a Tram and went for dinner in a Restaurant called Nirvana in Castro. Yum!     
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