Be sure to wear a flower in your hair!

Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
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Trip End Sep 05, 2007


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Monday, May 28, 2007

So after a night sleeping on the floor in Christchurch airport and a night on a very turbulent flight across the Pacific ocean we arrived safely in San Francisco. The flight was a long one, and the plane kept suddenly dropping in air pockets across the ocean it was quite nerve wracking!

When we arrived we took the BART train into the city centre and then a bus out to our friends where we were staying near the Golden Gate Park.
We were tired and just ready to drop into bed, as this was our second Sunday (we crossed the international date line so arrived in SF before we left NZ!) but Erik suggested that we go out for some food and proceeded to drive us all around San Francisco´s main sites so that we could take some amazing photographs and have first hand experience from locals on the best areas. It was a brilliant idea, we saw so much that we would in other circumstances not seen, our jet lag buzzed off for a while as we took in some of the delights of this beautfiul city.

We drove to Haight Ashbury, a very hippie area a bit like Camden and a bit like Melbourne in some ways, all the funky shops and artsy cafes. The Haight was a hippie place in the 60's and today it is still a very funky area of SF. We ate lunch in one of the cafes reccommended by Eva and Erik and remembered how large the portions are in the states!
We enjoyed visiting Alamo Square and photographing the skyline against some Victorian buildings, we also admired the skyline view from Mission Dolores park and then drove through SF´s "Gay" area called the Castro.
The architecture is stunning, three different types of Victorian houses exist, and as we drove around the city we were in awe of the amazing buildings. We wandered around the very Italian style Presidio which was just so beautiful, and soo enough the sun was going down. Erik took us to Lincoln Park to enjoy the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and then we went to nearby Ocean Beach to see one of the most spectacular sunsets.
That night we stayed in chatting to Eva and Erik and eating a delicious Chinese takeaway!

Our time in SF was short, it is an expensive city on our current budget, but we will definatly go back in the future.

On our second day we walked to Union Square which is downtown in the financial district and then continued to walk through the city to the fabulous Chinatown, one of the best we have seen and we have seen loads! All of a sudden as we changed district we found ourselves in the North Beach district which is very Italian and European, swish cafes line the streets serving coffee and cake, we sat outside of the Catholic St.Petes and St.Pauls church, it was magnificent, no suprise to learn that Marylin Monroe chose this as the background for her wedding photographs. We continued on down the steep streets until we reached the very busy very touristy Pier 39, this is stereotypical America, brand names, lots of people etc etc, we looked across the bay at Alcatraz (no visit this trip it was memorial weekend and all of the tours were full), the Golden Gate Bridge and then walked around to see the smelly but cut Californian sea lions who have made part of the pier their home.
We ate Clam Chowder in a bread roll along Fishermans wharf and then took the legendary San Francisco cable car back to the city. That evening we ate with Eva, Erik and their friend Nick in a super restaurant which serves German food - we were not hungry that night let me tell you!

That was the second and final part of our USA experience this trip - onto Mexico - !
Hugs

AlinMatt
xxxx
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