Tuesday, May 20, 2014

San Francisco

May 19 and 20, 2014,  Well, here's another twofer.  Both yesterday and today were long, busy days, so I'll just hit the highlights.  

We drove the coast south, taking in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, with huge rocks and cliffs, combined with blue skies all the way south to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Just before getting on the Golden Gate Bridge, we pulled off 101 to get a better look at the bridge.  I'm in awe every time I see it; not really gold in color, but magnificant in its size and height over the bay.  
Then back down the hill to go across the bridge.  When we got to the bridge, we learned that they no longeer collect tolls prior to crossing; they bill the owner for the toll.  I hope the bill is not too high when Bar gets the bill from Avis.  Oh well, that's a change from when Gary and I crossed it just a few years ago.

We found a hotel near the tourist part of town and crashed for the night after walking a block to an Italian place.

Today, we got up and talked to the clerk at the desk of the hotel about ground transportation to the Fisherman's Wharf.  After some discussion, she said we could walk a few blocks, catch a city bus, and pay $1 to ride there.  And it was possible to return the same way.  While the walking was a bit more than I expected, it still worked as she told us.

Down at the wharf, we went to Pier 39 to see the sea lions that lay on low platforms down on the water.  
There were at least a couple hundred sea lions out on the platforms, barking and playing king of the hill as we watched.  Quite entertaining to watch and listen to them.

Then we decided to go to Chinatown so that Big Sis could see and experience this unique place.  It was a long, hard uphill and downhill walk to Chinatown.  It just about did both of us in, going up those steep hills that you used to see in "The Streets of San Francisco".  

We walked a couple of blocks in Chinatown, and I could tell that she was just about to throw up from the odors, so we turned the corner to see the general merchandise they had to offer.  Much more pleasant!!  

Since it was lunchtime, we walked a couple of blocks to the Mona Lisa Ristorante, the same place Gary and I used when we were here.  Delicious as I remembered!

Then we walked back to the waterfront and Pier 33, where we were to pick up our tickets to Alcatraz.  We got there early, but since we were both pretty well bushed, we decided to rest there for an hour or so.  A good decision.

When it came time to board the ferry, we got on-board and enjoyed the 1.5 mile ride to the island.  

On the island, we walked up the long hill to the prison itself, got our audio tour headphones, anddid the 45 minute tour.  Quite interesting and entertaining.  
It was all I had been told it woudl be.  Very well done, with good narrating sound effects to enhance the story.  

But it was time to catch our ferry back to terra firma, so we did just that.  We met a nice couple from Australia who was at the end of a 8 week visit to the USA.  It sounded like they had visited everywhere that is good to visit, and were planning a visit to South America or Russia for their next excursion.  Talk about world travelers...

Back on land, we walked back to Pier 39, found some dinner, and after asking for directions, walked the 8 or 9 blocks to the bus stop.  The bus ride was great, and we got off about a block and a half from the hotel.  Two tired, but happy tourists.

So, the day was good.  We didn't do the cable cars; we just didn't have time, and we were disappointed that they were not the same as we pictured from pics made earlier.  Maybe tomorrow, or maybe not at all.

Tomorrow--Lombard Street hill, REI (to deal with broken zipper), and east to Yosemite NP.


At May 21, 2014 at 12:21 AM , Blogger Sheila said...

Great pictures, Malcolm. Thoroughly enjoyed your post.

At May 21, 2014 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Niki Palmer said...

I am enjoying your posts...continue to have fun and please be safe. Love u


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