Short Stay in San Francisco.
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Our next stop was San Francisco which we got to via the Bay bridge and where we stayed in the interesting Mayflower hotel.
As you can see from the photo San Francisco has some pretty steep hills. We decided to each buy a pass so that we could travel unlimited on the buses and cable-cars. (Definitely well worth it). The queue for the cable-car from the tourist information centre reviled the queue at Glastonbury for wellies. However it was a lovely sunny day and the ride was worth the wait. They pack the people on the cable-cars we were very lucky to get a seat so fortunately we did not have to hang on to the side for dear life.
We arrived safely at our intended destination Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoyed a stroll along the waterfront looking at all the historic ships (Incidentally, the largest collection in the world.
I had given up on getting any chance to visit Alcatraz which I was desperate to visit.
So I persuaded Simon to join me on a visit to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf. What can I say…well I guess it’s the kind of place you’ll either love or hate. If like me, you enjoy all things freaky and uniquey then you’ll love it. I got some pretty cool photos, (not sure that it’s o.k. to post them on here), so if you’re interested ask me to show them to you when I get back.
Anyhow on the way to Ripley’s a guy was shouting out that he had Alcatraz tours, I couldn’t believe it as they were supposed to be sold out for days. It seemed to good to be true, but it meant we could go to Alcatraz that afternoon. Ok so we paid well over the odds, but I didn’t care. We were going to Alcatraz and that was all that mattered.
Unfortunately our time on the Island was limited as we needed to get the last ferry back.
So after watching a brief film on Alcatraz, we made a whistle-stop tour of the buildings on the Island. We spent 45 minutes walking around the cell house listening to the audio-tour which is a mixture of former inmates and correctional officers talking about their time in Alcatraz. We saw some great views of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline.
Indeed it must have been very hard for the inmates to be so near to San Francisco, yet so far. I would have liked to have walked around the historic garden and seen more of the birds that call Alcatraz home.
I really enjoyed our visit to Alcatraz, and would like to return some day. Again Alcatraz is not going to be for everyone, but if you do decide to go, my advice would be to book early and wrap up warm!
The next day decided to go to the Golden Gate National Recreational Area and enjoyed a nice walk along the beach, then decided to go for a stroll through the Golden Gate Park.
It turned out to be quite surreal…the very first thing we came across was a Dutch windmill, quickly followed by a bison enclosure. Minutes later we found ourselves enjoying the very end if the Summer Of Love (40th anniversary festival). We followed the flow and ended up heading down the Haight. (sort of a cross between Camden Market and Glastonbury high-street), and eventually made our way back to the Hotel on the bus.
We ended our short stay in San Francisco by leaving via the Golden Gate bridge which was enveloped in fog as it had been for most of our stay.