Off to the Golden gate and Alcatraz!

Trip Start Nov 26, 2009
Trip End Apr 12, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So we left Las Vegas early in the morning for the long drive to San Francisco, would take about eight hours in total, might have been a bit less but we thought we would get lost in Oakland for a bit before hand while getting some petrol. We also got lost in San Francisco trying to find the hotel and was a bit scary driving up and down these huge hills at night with trams all over the place trying to crash into you.

We eventually found the hotel and was so knackered we virtually crashed as soon as we got into our room. Next morning we took a walk down to the Fishermans Wharf and along all the old harbour piers. We got our first sighting of the bridge and Alcatraz before heading back to Fishermans wharf for a late lunch. After lunch we had a quick look in and around the USS Pampanito which is an old WW2 submarine. Was a good insight into the tight conditions and must of been uncomfortable to work in due to the heat when the engines were going full speed! Also had a quick blast in the penny arcade which was good fun. We took the walk back to the hotel and again took an early night as we were heading off to Alcatraz on the 9am ferry.

Next day we got up, had breakfast and took the walk down to the ferry pier. Wasnt very busy which suited us, although it was v.cold! The 15min ferry ride was very smooth, which Elly was grateful for, and we arrived at Alcatraz. After the briefing from the Ranger on the island we was left to just wander the island at our leisure. We took in the 10min video at the start to give us some of the history of the island before we went and had a look in all the cells. Certainly lived up to its reputation of a nasty place to go. We spend about 4 hours around the island, a lot of it is being conserved and there was a few volunteers who spoke to us and gave us more insight into the history of the place. We took the ferry back, had lunch (and beers) before taking a stroll back to the hotel via the shop to pick up some stuff for dinner before again crashing early. We thought the fresh air and walking would do us good!!

We decided to visit the crooked street on Lombard road the next morning and it certainly is a funny street. Good to see it and instantly recognised it off the TV. We then drove to the foot of the Golden Gate bridge to get some closer shots of it and then headed off to the Golden Gate park for a few hours. The squirrals in the park certainly arent scared of people as they were running up to us and at times was worried they would run up our legs!

On our last day in San Francisco we headed to Union Square and it was a much busier place to where we had been before in SF. All the big shops were there and also a large amount of homeless people. We took a long walk around the shops before walking over to Chinatown. We again grabbed lunch and then headed back to the hotel as we had to be out by 6am for the 9 hour drive back to LA.

I felt like I hadnt been as tired as I have done before when the alarm went off at 4.30am. We grabbed brekkie and left the hotel about 5.45am. We wanted to avoid the traffic and take the scenic road down to LA. Problem was the weather was awful and it was heavy rain and wind all the way down. Perfect cliffside driving weather.....and it got better as we got into LA as the motorway roads are awful and was kicking up so much spray you couldnt see about 5 feet in front of the bonnet. We dropped off the hirecar and was glad to do no more driving in the US! We got to our airport hotel, had food at Sizzlers before hitting the hay. Early get up again for the flight to NY!!
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