Trip Start Jul 29, 2009
20Trip End Aug 19, 2009
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Well we were up with the lark this morning to go and catch the trip to Alcatraz. A trip on the California line tram up and down some very scary hills (all before 9am) and then a tram (trolley in the US) over to the pier to find that the tours are sold out till Tuesday 18th July!!! Well we could have had a lie in. Anyway we decided to have some breakfast on Pier 39. It is a lovely spot and has some nice restaurants and shops - a bit touristy but looks really nice. Once you get past all of that and to the end of the pier you are greeted with a lovely view of Alcatraz. We did the usual of paying 25c for the binoculars - who needs to sped $75 dollars on a tour!! Anyway some good photo opportunities and of course the lovely view of the Golden Gate bridge. We then turned the corner and saw the sea lions basking in the sunshine and making some horrible nosies.
We then took a walk along the shoreline towards fishermans wharf. There is an old submarine and warship which you can look around - although we gave that a miss we did go into a fabulous museum with a huge collection of "end of the pier" arcade called the Musee Mechanique of San Fransisco. It's amazing what fun you can have with just $1. We then walked on to Ghiradelli Square home of the famous Ghiradelli chocolate - which is very nice by the way. They are renovating the old chocolate factory and now have some nice places to eat and of couse the big chocolate shop too.
Then caught a bus (worked out by our trusty transport expert) along Chestnut street which takes you to the Palace of Fine arts. This mounument was built to support an exhibition in 1915 which commemorted the completion of the Panama Canal. It is a magnificent structure surrounded by the most fabulous of houses. We took at walk round there then to the Exploratorium which is a museum for curious minds - main all science based and looking at how things worked. We were exhausted by the end of this as it blew you away. Emma loved it and it was certainly a place for children. A couple of hundred yards away is the marina and that is where you get your first up close view of the Golden Gate Bridge which is fabulous. You can just sit and look at it and the view of the bay and the pacific ocean
A bus trip and then tram trip took us then all the way to the end of the F line into Castro and then back again. It was good to just sit down and see the sights and this travels all the way through the financial district and then along Market Street where most of the shops are.
We ended up in a fantastic chinese restaurant (as recommended by the Lonley Planet). You had to queue outside and the service was a bit hit and miss but the food was well worth it. Emma loved trying out Pot Stickers and some honey glazed chicken - she's becoming quite adventurous. Paul ordered green tea and got ot water with a flower in it .... bit dodgy if you ask me. he did live to tell the tale.
We managed to get the California line tram back home after a brief walk through the main part of Chinatown.
We were all just exhausted ........