In February this year we went on an unforgettable trip around the west coast of USA. We managed to hit three major cities in 10 days, starting with San Francisco then Las Vegas for the weekend and finishing the trip off in Los Angeles. It was so much fun and we got some amazing weather for February so everyone kept telling.
We arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday 10th February after an 11 hour flight. Feeling pretty tired and zombie-like we dropped our bags off at the hotel and took a wander out into the city. We were staying downtown at the Intercontinental, it was a really nice hotel and a great place to start our trip as it gave us that bit of luxury to come back to at the end of each day. Here are my highlights from San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge
Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory was pretty surreal feeling seeing something so close and in person, I mean usually its something that you only ever see in books or on films. We chose to take in the view from Fort point I took my camera to get a few good shots and we took the touristy selfies of course. Dave said why don’t we walk it? We were up so unusually early for us because of the time difference so it was quite quiet on the tourist count so we decided to go for it. It was rather windy though so we called it a day half way across. But the views were amazing so I am glad we did it. Here’s a couple of pics from the experience.
Day two we were up and about after having an early night – jet lag kicking our ass 😦 We planned our trip to Alcatraz for today and I think it was the visit Dave was looking forward to the most! He loves all them TV documentaries about prisons and how they operate and thinks the Clint Eastwood Escape from Alcatraz film is maybe one of the best films of all time! So its safe to say he was pretty psyched about this visit. I booked our tickets in advanced as I heard there could be big queues to purchase them on the day or they may even be sold out. I took a few shots on my camera as we made our way out from pier 33 towards Alcatraz island.
The weather was okay, a little cold so we brought some thin jackets with us and had our walking shoes on ready to explore the island. We pulled up to the harbour and got off the ferry to receive a short intro from one of the tour guides. We stayed until we had all the info we needed and then we left to make our way up to the cellblock to avoid the crowds. So its the standard museum sort of drill – you get a headset and controller and stroll around the museum independently following the instructions and stories told to you via the headset, you can pause the commentary at any time so you can stay a bit longer at certain areas or stop and chat to whoever you are with and then pick it right back up where you left off. The stories are told by former cell mates and prison guards and have a very eerie manner about them, but thats quite understandable as they lived through this experience. Its quite crazy to hear the stories first hand and be in the exact spot where they happened. It was an excellent tour from start to finish I totally recommend it! I am such a sucker for real life events – to the point of when I find out about interesting stories or events I have to research them so much more. Look up the people, watch movies, read books etc! The movie Escape from Alcatraz is probably one of these such events. The way that was all planned out and took place is so astonishing and mind blowing and the thought that two of those men have been reported still alive is insane!
Fisherman’s wharf was a lively see front area with a lot of restaurants, shops and family friendly attractions. I did a little readying up on the area prior to our trip and noted the musee mechanique – world’s largest privately owned collections of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines. It was free admission and there were so many interesting treasures inside so well worth a visit if you make it down that way.
From Fisherman’s wharf we decided to get the cable car back up the hill back towards our hotel. We took in the sights while on our way:
All in all San francisco was beautiful. It was a lot to get round in just a couple of days but we did it! So happy to have visited this wonderful city on the wet coast of America next stop VEGAS!