San Francisco

Trip Start Dec 12, 2008
Trip End ??? ??, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, December 22, 2008

So we finally arrived in San Francisco at 2am in the Morning.  The hotel was good, basic but clean.  It had a scary elevator though and you were only allowed to have 2 people in it at once!

After our 2am arrival (which also followed 38 hours of travel) we were up at 7 to walk to the ferry building at the wharf to catch our tour.

The tour was a bus/walking tour which was really good as we got to see lots of the city we wouldn't have seen without transport.  We went to Lombard street, the crookedest street in the world, Alamo Square with a view to the 6 sisters, Golden Gate Park/Botanical gardens where we saw our first sqirrels!!  Grace Cathedral, Nob hill and the Fairmont hotel, palace of the fine arts and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

We drove across the bridge then stopped to take pics on the other side.  We then went to Sausilito on the other side of the bridge for lunch where we had a cheese pizza.  Then we caught the ferry back to the city and got some more shots of the bridge and Alcatraz.

After the tour we walked up to pier 39 which is a big tourist area.  We had a look at the sealions which inhabit the pier, they just hang out of the pontoons there.

That night we were so tired we went back to the hotel and fell asleep on the great American dinner of chips, twinkies and coke.

The next day we wandered from our hotel (past all the 'massage' parlours) through Tenderloin the worst part of the city which was a little confronting.  But we got to the civic centre and had a look at the city hall (which is guilded with 400 000 dollars worth of gold leaf) and the library etc.  we then continued down market street and checked out the westfield shopping centre which is HUGE 8 levels and America's only spiral escalator.

From there we made our way from Market to pier 33 to catch the Alcatraz cruise.  The trolley's are all old trams bought from other countries.  There are a few from Melbourne.

Our visit to Alcatraz was great and it provides really spectacular views of the city skyline and the Golden Gate bridge.  We wandered around the grounds and watched a video about its history etc.  There was alot about its history as a military base before it was a prison, then some stories about the supposed escapes.

We then did the audio tour of the main cell house which was very interesting and we got to stand in the cells and wish Sean Connery was there.

We then wandered back to the hotel (it was very cold by this time) the temperature seems to be ok during the day but the minute it begins to get dark at around 4:30pm the temperature drops off dramatically!!  So we stoped off in a bar on Market and had a Budweisser, which I didn't mind but Dan thought it tasted like water....

That night we had dinner at the 'worlds best hamburger' restaurant where we had cheeseburgers chips and milkshakes which made us feel like we were actually in the States!

On our third morning we walked to the rental car depot (which was up many hills, I have now done enough hill walking for the rest of the trip) and picked up the Pontiac G6.  It is a V6 which is fairly unnecessary for us.. not for them though it was one of the small ones.  We then drove out of the city on the way down the coast, but that is another entry.

All in all we loved San Francisco, is was a very vibrant and alive city but also laid back and easy to get around.  We would definately visit again.

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