Leaving ours hearts in San Fran
02.10.2007 - 07.10.2007 25 °C
Well folks, it's been a while since we've have been able to get on a PC to update the blog.
We had a fantastic time in San Fran, and really had to tear ourselves away. The Pacific Tradewinds hostel was great in atmosphere, location .... So much so that we stayed an extra day.
I took Mark to some of my favourite places from my last trip including Fishermans Wharf, with the Sealions and the great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. The Sealions were quite a sight. Flexing their muscles making noises to show that this is their patch and don't try coming onto it. A bit of deodorant wouldn't go a miss! As cool as they thought they were, they gave off a strong whiff in the air!
We then headed to explore North Beach (little Italy), China Town, and up to the Coit Tower, the Crooked Street for views. The hills are really steep and we were quite pooped afterwards. The Gelato (ice cream) helped a lot.
Mark enjoyed a solo trip to Alcatraz, whilst I explored the shops as I'd seen it before. Alcatraz had an eerie fell about it, especially as the audio guide was narrated by ex-guards and inmates. It only held about 130 prisoners, but they were probably some of America's worst. For example 'Al Capone' and 'The Birdman of Alcatraz'. The birdman was not this peaceful guy who likes birds in the films, he was more like Hannibal Lectar, everyone including the prison guards were afraid to go near his cell. It was a fascinating insight into what was considered an inescapable prison.
We had a relaxing evening in the hostel getting to know some of the people there.
The next day we went to Napa Valley on a tour to 3 vineyards. 2 in Napa and 1 in Sonama Vally. We learned the correct way to smell and taste the wine so watch out Oz Clarke. We didn't get too drunk as they are pretty stingy with the samples. It was a fun day, through Super Sightseeing tours with a great tour driver called Don, he was a witty guide, not too dissimillar to Jack Nicholson.
That evening we went for a few drinks with people from the hostel, missing the Oscar winner Sean Penn a few bars up by minutes! North Beach appears to be the place to be.
On our final day we headed to the Haight and looked around, this is the area that the summer of love hippy movement started. There is still the same feel to the area now. We also headed into Golden Gate Park for a few hours as there was a free Bluedgrass festival on that again had that same happy San Fransisco vibe.
In the evening it was onto Castro, the GLBT area. For those of you who are not down with the lingo, this is the Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transexual area. It has a great atmosphere, plus the odd Village People wannabies. This is the place if you want to get your pooch a little jacket or outfit for that special occasion.
We found a cheap Indian place for tea and then crashed at the hostel.
On our final morning we headed over the golden gate bridge to the Marin headland for a view over the city. Wow, it was amazing. Hopefully we'll get some photos on soon. You could see the bridge, Alcatraz and the city skyline. A great way to say farewell to our favourite place so far!
We set of in our rental car to Yosemite Park. Thanks to a lovely lady called Constance we got a free upgrade and have a convertible car for our travels through California. Not a sporty number, but a Chrysler PT cruiser. Ideal for later when we head down the Californian West Coast Highway 1 and the Big Sur.