We love San Francisco

Trip Start Aug 16, 2008
Trip End Sep 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, August 28, 2008

We got up early to catch our 6.30 flight to San Francisco. Although sleepy, I was definitely excited after being told so many good things about the city.

Our hostel was great: free breakfast, a room to ourselves, central location and a big common room. By the time we had checked in and settled we just had the afternoon, so decided to go shopping! Just a ten minute walk away was an 8 storey shopping centre with every shop you could think of! We split up and spent the afternoon trying a million things on. I managed to get a couple of cardigans and a tshirt, yay. We headed to bed early as our next day was going to be busy!

Another early start as we had booked a tour of Alkatraz! None of us knew very much about the prison, but by the end we felt like experts! I hadn't realised how close to the city the island is, nor how much it juts out and is visible from land. The prison itself was pretty creepy, with long rows of tiny cells and very little daylight. We were given an audio tour which was really interesting. We found out about what daily life for the prisoners had been like, who had served time there and some of the escape attempts. We were really glad we'd gone, and I'd recommend it to everyone.

After Alkatraz we wandered around the harbour, which was nice, lots of little shops and cafes. However, our time in the city was short so we headed up to the "crooked-est" road. On our way there we walked up and down many of the famous hills, admiring the goregous Victorian houses. The crooked road didn't let us down, it was really really windy and gave great views of the city. After lots of photos we caught a tram to Chinatown!

Chinatown was really cool, and very big! Not a word of english anywhere, we felt like we were in Beijing. Lots of crazy shops and wafts of yummy food. We decided to have dinner there, and didn't regret it!

Exhausted after our busy day we headed to bed early.

The next day we headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge. Another world famous sight that didn't dissapoint. We walked halfway across, which gave us great views of the San Francisco skyline. It was a beautiful clear day so we were able to see the bridge in its full glory. Really cool. Afterward we went to the Golden Gate Park and relaxed in the sun :)

This was Emma's last day, so we had to head back to the hostel, go to the train station and say goodbye which was sad. We'll miss her.    

We felt we'd seen most of the tourist spots in the city so the next day after a hostel recommendation we went to an area called the Mission, the Latin American part of the city. There were no tourists here, and again we felt we could have been in a different country. We were glad to see a different side to the city and experience a different culture.

Our train to Santa Cruz was that afternoon so we had to say goodbye to San Francisco. It was by far my favourite place yet. The city itself was beautiful and very laidback, the weather was amazing, the people were interesting and it felt like a big jumble of different cultures (Chinatown, Little Italy, the Mission and Little Tokyo all next door to each other). I could easily have spent more time there, getting to know each neighbourhood in more detail. It's definitely a place I'd go back to-you have to visit!!!
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