Trip Start Apr 20, 2008
74Trip End Aug 15, 2010
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After checking in and showering we headed straight out to do some sight seeing, slept very badly on the plane so feeling exhausted! Walked around the local area and got some lunch from an Italian restaurant. Our hostel is right where China town meets the Italian quarter so the restaurant choice was quite sensational. This became out first experience of tipping and I find the whole thing quite painful, not knowing how much to tip and how to tip etc. Anyway we walked down to Fisherman's wharf which
is the main tourist area
San Fransisco is a crazy city with some crazy crazy hills. There's this street in the Russian quarter which is the "crookedest street in the world" it has 8 turns and is on a 40 degree slope, there are steps either side for pedestrians. It's a pretty cool city though and not half as busy as I expected it to be, it's also very compact and easy to get around.
Back at the hostel there was free dinner being cooked by one chef and any guests who wanted to help. It turned out to be a really nice Mexican style dinner and was a very social occasion.
Thursday we got up early and headed down to the wharf to hire some bikes. We rode across the Golden Gate Bridge and on to a nice town called Sausalito where we had some lunch. We rode on to a place called Old Mill Park where there are some big old trees similar to the Muir woods which were too far away to ride to. It was a really nice park although it was actually a suburb,
with houses all over the place up on the sides of massive hills, some of which had escalators to get up to them !!?? We rode on to Tiburon which is out on the peninsula opposite San Fran. By this stage we had ridden almost 38kms and I was exhausted, my legs hurt and my butt hurt so badly I could hardly sit on my bike. We caught the ferry back to the city which only took 20mins
Got back to the hostel to find the pub crawl we were going to go on had already left. Made some friends in the internet room and decided to go out with them. Despite being in the red light district it felt a lot safer walking around there than other areas, it was good to be in a group though! Went to a really small bar called Saloon which had a live band playing which were really good.. cheap drinks too.
Friday we were up early again and caught a bus out to Golden Gate Park. Walked around there for a bit and then walked down Haight street which has a lot of small funky alternative shops. We then rushed back to the wharf to get on a tour to Alcatraz. It's about a 20 min ferry ride out there and they bring over a ferry full of a couple of hundred tourists every half an hour... it's insane, it was really interesting but what could have been such an amazing experience was somewhat tainted by being one of the masses.
In the afternoon we checked out another side of town and went to Union Square and market street
We made out way to Fort Mason YHA where we were to be picked up from for a 2 day tour to Yosemite.
Interesting fact: Alcatraz was the only state penitentiary to have hot water showers so that the inmates would not acclimatise to the cold water.