13th July 1999
We left Bass Lake and the Sierra Nevadas to head for San Francisco! Another day of driving through the countryside, before reaching the City by the Bay.
Getting to San Fancisco, I thought "When did we get back to Melbourne?" The sky was overcast - I guess it was due to the fog and the sea and all of that kind of thing, and it was rather cold. I had to buy one of the San Francisco wind cheaters that they were selling, to keep warm!!
I didn't realise that there were so many wind mill things around San Fancisco, all over the hills, to generate electricity! It was funny to see whole hills covered in the things!
When we got there, we heard that we weren't to stay in the usual Contiki hotel, and had to be put in another hotel because some convention had kicked us out. (Why weren't the convention people kicked out??? Why us?!)
We had a nice city tour, heading into San Fran over Bay Bridge. When we got over the bridge, we got told that it had been knocked down by an earth quake in the past, and it used to be four different levels instead of the two it is now. Glad they told us after going over the bridge!!
We went around the city, but didn't go over those really steep hills - the coach couldn't make it! But we saw Union Square, Haight Ashbury (where all the hippies are), Fishermans Warf and the Golden Gate Bridge. We got a stop for photos over the Bridge, to take photos of the San Francisco skyline. (Or of the bridge.)
I wonder why it's called 'Goldengate' when it's a rusty red colour....
We stopped off at Pier 39, and went for a walk at lunch time to see the sea lions, and look over at Alcatraz. We had lunch in one of the many cafes on the pier. Chowder in sour dough bread - quite yummy. ^_^
Afterwards we went to our hotel. Hrm... It was probably the worst on the tour. It just didn't have a nice feel to it, being like a hole-in-the-wall type place. But we only needed it to sleep in, thank goodness.
For dinner that night, we all walked down to the trolly (yay, it was cute, and the guy driving it played music on the bell) down to Chinatown, where we got out and went to dinner!
Mmm... a large Chinese banquet - very good!
After dinner, we went out and were going to go to a bar or two... but waiting for the taxis, it was freezing - very much like Melbourne in winter!! The wind was a lazy wind - it went straight through you. :p
We were thankful when the taxis came - half of us got in a limo taxi! That was really cool. We could pretend to be rich and famous. ^_^
We headed out to a bar, but the guys quickly left that one, saying that the only female inside was the bar tender, and they were sure it was a gay bar, and headed to another.
Throughout the tour so far, we'd seen beggars and homless people in each city. Such a shock, as you don't see things that bad in Melbourne. Maybe one or two ... but out in the US, you can hardly walk down the street without tripping over the homeless! (The US government should really do something about that!!!) It was really quite shocking.
Here, they were near these bars we were at, and following us, trying to get us to givge them money, and even trying to call taxis for us, to get a 'tip' for doing so (as if we were incapable of getting taxis for ourselves!)
That was the sadest thing about America - that the government does absolutely nothing about their homless people, and just leaves them on the streets.
Anyway, the other bar we went to was nice, and there were guys and girls there, so the guys on the tour felt more comfortable. We stayed there for a while, until we went back to the hotel, and to bed.
Here's a list of the images - select the link or the thumbnails (they have been cropped, so the largest images are shown in full) to view them!
|The winmills of San Francisco.|
|The Rock - Alcatraz, as seen from Pier 39.|
|Dinner at Chinatown - our table while in the middle of a 5 course banquet! ^_^|
|One half of the limo - don't we look rich and famous?|
|And the other half - they had a tv, bar and everything in there. But nothing was on the tv, and no drinks were in the bar....|
Thanks to Eric and Robyn for some of the photos!
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