In a continuation of my SF opus, I’m up to day 6! Yes, I know I probably should have written as I was going along, but blogging on the ipad was just too much of a pain in the wazoos to comprehend, so you’ll have to deal with some back-dated posts!
So, day 6– The Golden Gate Bridge. Many a person said that hiring a bike and cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge was one of their holiday highlights- Lots of people hire, bike over, and get the ferry back the other way, but to be honest, Mark and I both decided that driving over a traffic-choked bridge didn’t really sound like the greatest fun in the world, so instead we hired bikes for a couple of hours and just had a trundle around. There are some big old hills in SF and I had to have some gentle encouragement to get up the steeper ones (thanks Marky, for not shouting at me too much!!) but it was a lovely way to see a bit more of the city- we cycled around the coast for a bit, then came inland and tootled around a more residential bit- clocking up about 9 miles all in all. None too shabby!
We wanted to take some pictures of Lombard Street, the so-called ‘most crooked street in the world’. When it was built, in the ’20s, cars weren’t powerful enough to cope with the ridiculously steep gradient of the road, so they turned it into this twisty-turny street, to make it easier for cars to negotiate. We had to walk up a stupidly steep hill to get to the top of it- All the huge American breakfasts we’ve been eating have definitely been counteracted by the amount of walking we’ve done!
It was Sunday night, so we decided to have a quiet night at the pictures- Iron Man 3 was released the week before we went away in the UK so we took ourselves off to a multiplex with a massive bucket ‘o’ popcorn. My opinion- I love the Iron Man films and this was as good as the other two in pace, slick dialogue and laughs (I even liked the second film, which had pretty poo reviews in comparison to the other two, so I suppose you could argue that I’m easily pleased), but I wasn’t so down with the ending- Bit of a cop-out in my opinion for all the iron man suits to come racing to the rescue.
Day 7 saw a trip to Alcatraz. I’d booked the tickets a few days previously because they book up quite quickly, and I’d heard it was a good idea to go on the 8.45am ferry, as it’s a bit quieter then, so we got up, ate bagels, and took a streetcar down to the docks. The streetcars are really cool- There’s a ‘historic’ route, which uses loads of old streetcars recycled from other places in America (I suppose a bit like the Routemaster historic bus route in London), so we got on a cool green 50’s-looking number from Louisville. Unfortunately for us, a ridiculous amount of traffic meant that we got to the pier just as our boat was leaving. Oops! Thankfully, I guess people must miss their boats all the time, as we just got told to get in a reserve queue and got on the next available boat 20 minutes later.
Alcatraz was interesting- We got an audio tour of the prison with voiceovers from past inmates and guards and suchlike and there was plenty of other stuff to look at around and about the island too. One of the more expensive things we did on the trip (I think it worked out at about £25 per person), but it just had to be done!
On our final day, after a bit of packing, we checked out of the hotel, mooched around the shops for a bit for obligatory gifts for our niece and nephews and went for lunch at John’s Grill. It’s one of the restaurants featured in the Maltese Falcon, which I’m going to HAVE to read when I get back! It was pretty quiet as it was late for lunch in there, but I guess it would be a bit buzzier in the evening. Good food though- and well worth a visit if you’re a fan of film noir (or the Maltese Falcon!)
Then it was off to the airport, for the 10 hour return flight (thankfully with working TVs this time) and back home for some unpacking and a massive sleep!