San Francisco - our first West Coast destination
Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
74Trip End Dec 23, 2010
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We arrived into SF on a bus as the Amtrak railroad goes no further than Emeryville. This transfer was a good opportunity to see the city and get our bearings as our stop was the last drop off of 4 stops. We stayed in the USA Hostel – about a block from Union Square. This was Kate's first hostel experience – we had a private double room with shared bathroom and toilet. The hostel itself was quite nice: free wifi, free pancakes in the morning and very friendly staff. The room itself was mmmmm, habitable but definitely not a place that you would walk around barefoot in or let your parents stay in!!!
Our first day in SF had us walking in a very posh neighbourhood called Nob Hill – amazing homes and views of the city
The next two days saw the temperature drop to around 14 degrees with the famous fog hitting the city. It almost felt like we were back in the UK. We walked though Japan town and then though to Alamo square known as postcard row because of its colourful Victorian Houses. On Monday we walked through Golden Gate Park and went to the California Academy of Science (Ivor was in his element).
Tuesday turned out to be a perfect day so we walked along the coastal 'Lands End Trail’ from the end of Golden Gate Park, through Eagle point and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. Luckily for us the weather held out and we were treated to a clear sky and a stunning view of the bridge. After walking across the bridge we tried to get public transport back – no luck – so Ivor managed to persuade a tour operator to take us on his open air tour bus back to our hostel....
Wednesday was even hotter than the previous day which was great for us as this was our ‘Alcatraz Tour’ day. A Ferry took us to the island where we spent 3 hours wandering around the prison, listening to the world famous audio tour. Alcatraz is an incredible yet completely daunting place – not sure how the prisoners lived under such harsh conditions but there was a successful breakout – 3 escapees and they have still yet to be found!
So SF wasn’t the place we thought it would be but still it was a great place to visit. One thing that does sell this place, however, is that it was the first place in California to legalise cannabis. Yep, you can smoke a joint right in front of a policeman and there is nothing they can do about........... the caveat being that smoking weed is only prohibited for health reasons and as our tour guide said – the day that weed was legalised was the day that a lot of people in San Francisco became ‘sick’.
Our next journey takes us to Muir woods and then through to Napa Valley – Wine country – Kate is very excited as Ivor is the designated driver!!!!
Until then – we hope that you are all well. When you are not busy – send us some news.