Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Sat 29th Oct The party’s over

Can’t believe that it’s almost over, 8 weeks of fun and now we have to start making our way home. But before we do we have a few hours to kill before going to the airport. Opposite the hotel is Hyde pier, a sort of outdoor museum. They have several boats/ships moored up for you to explore for a very small fee of $5.  Boating enthusiasts spend their spare time lovingly restoring sailing crafts of all types.

We spotted this one from our part of the world which had been towed half way round the world. It looks as though it needs a lot of work doing.
This ferry was the main method of crossing the bay until the Golden Gate Bridge was built. In fact the dockside was part of Highway 1. They have some of the old vehicles that used the ferry.

They even have one of those old flicker viewing machines, where you put in a $ and see the old photos. Phil took command.
Up on deck we spotted these beauties basking in the sun
These are not seals in the water but very keen swimmers.
Oh well time to set off but not before we had a ride down Lombard Street. Our taxi driver kindly drove down this very, very twisty street which is a famous sight in San Francisco.

That’s it folks party’s over. Thanks for following  and you comments we have had a whale of a time.

My next post will be a list of links to all the accommodation, food and places we have visited just in case  you fancy a trip yourselves.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Fri 28th Oct The Bike ride of all Bike rides!

Ok so this sounded fun when it was suggested that we should cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge but after 8 weeks of eating, drinking and generally being lazy this was a bit of a challenge!
But the sun was shining and there were lots of people on the cycle path so it couldn't be that hard could it?. First obstacle a rather steep hill, so I got off and pushed! At the top of the hill we overlooked Fort Mason which was the embarkation site for the forces/supplies going out to the Pacific during WW2.

As we got nearer the views of the Bridge were spectacular.

At the base of the bridge is an old fortification Fort Point, so we took a break and spent some time 
looking around.

We couldn’t put it off anymore so we mounted our cycles and set off  for the bridge. Before we knew it we were half way there.

We pushed on and crossed the bridge. We can now proudly say we cycled the Golden Gate Bridge!
There is a fabulous viewing point on the other side and the views are magnificent.

On the way back we stopped here for an ice cream but this being San Francisco and so health concious it was frozen low fat yoghurt. A bit late for us I think!

Home tomorrow we can’t believe we’ve been away 8 weeks it’s gone so quickly and if we had the energy we’d do it all again!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Thurs 27th Oct A visit to Alcatraz

Early start for us today, despite the late night at Yoshis. We got the ferry at 9am across the bay to the infamous prison, Alcatraz. As we docked we got a warm welcome from the park rangers. I don’t think the previous occupants were so keen to look round.
The inmates had a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and I bet they spend many an hour gazing at the horizon.
Charlie, it looks as though they have got the tank ready for  your inspection!
I’m not sure I want to go in here.
And I definitely wouldn’t want to share this shower

Someone was having a laugh when they named the rows of cells, Broadway, Times Square and Michigan Ave.
After being cooped up for 20-22 hours you got the enjoyment of the exercise yard

We thought we’d try out the cells for size I felt a bit nervous, remember the fim The Rock!!
Who’d have thought that these  big, bad men would crochet (pink blanket)

Or paint/sketch

On the way back from Alcatraz we walked along Fishermans Wharf and saw these pieces of topiary decorating the flower beds

We popped in our local bakery for a coffee and…… a piece of cake, sorry ate it before I could snap it!

Once refreshed we headed downtown to finish off our Bus tour. First stop was the Martin Luther King Memorial. They have built a beautiful waterfall, which you can walk behind and inscribed on the wall is his famous "I have a dream" speech. it was very moving.

It's situated in a very pretty park surrounded by some amazing buildings.

Early night tonight because tomorrow we're off on an awfully big adventure.....we're cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tues 25th Oct Off to San Francisco

Next stop San Francisco. The first strange thing was we had Tuesday twice! We set of from Auckland at 6.15pm and arrived in San Francisco at 10.30 am!! A Groundhog day.
We quickly dropped of our bags and checked out Fishermans Wharf. The sun was shining. First impressions…..lots of restaurants! First meal was a local dish Cioppino, which is a type of fish broth, Phil had shrimp pasta.

San Francisco is a foodie’s heaven 3 eateries per person and there’s approximately 850,000 people here. Good job we’re only here 4 days as I’m down to one pair of stretchy jeans that still fit…..just!

The next day we take the Big Red Bus for a tour of the town. The sky is bright blue and not a trace of the fog that San Francisco is famous for. Lots to see, a fabulous skyline.

The young lady who poised for this statue on Union square, married a very rich sugar merchant who was twice her age and coined the phrase “Sugar Daddy”
Chinatown was fascinating, crowded, noisy and so colourful.

We got off the bus in Chinatown and had a good look round before walking on to Little Italy. There were some great restaurants and delis

It’s almost Halloween here and people have begun to decorate their balconies.
We walked on towards Coit Tower.
We thought
Baldwin Street
was steep in Dunedin but hey this was definitely steeper!
The views from the tower were spectacular. The famous Golden Gate Bridge
And then the lesser known Bay Bridge which was built before the Golden Gate.
Also Alcatraz, which we are visiting tomorrow.
Tonight we went to a Jazz club we had been recommended, Yoshi’s

It was a jamming session and the trumpeter was brilliant
Fabulous music, stunning food, what more could we want.