A bridge in fog and the prisoner of Azkaban

Trip Start Sep 20, 2009
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Trip End Oct 11, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, September 24, 2009

As Mark Twain famously said, the coldest winter he'd ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco. Well, he should have come in Autumn. It's warm and sunny with a touch of the famous fog.

When I say a touch...I still haven't seen the Golden Gate bridge in it's entirety. I jumped on a really great (and small) tour on Tuesday and when we drove over the bridge it was like living in a cloud. Zero visibility and those poor cyclists riding across looked wet and freezing. Fog is not really a weather pattern I'm used to, and sometimes it looks fake, like a tv set. I was waiting for a ghost pirate ship to emerge from the depths of the Pacific, but was unlucky this time.

But I'm jumping ahead. Our lovely tour guide, Dylan, a born and bred San Franciscan, showed us our the different neighbourhoods of the city. First the supposedly dodgy Tenderloin where we drove past a lot of homeless shelters, people standing on the corner looking for work, and a Mr Nice Guy's (a medical marajuana dispensery).

Then we checked out the murals of the Mission, the famed camera shop in the Castro (if you haven't watched Milk yet, do. It's amazing.), and then onto Haight/Asbury for some hippy action. As I'd spent a lot of time there the day before, I just relaxed and took a few pictures. Which, I'm annoyed to say, I still can't upload, as I was sold a dodgy usb connector lead from a dodgy camera shop. Oh well, once again you'll have to use your imagination, and I can bore you with the pictures later.

We then drove over the bridge to the Muir woods and saw the giant red woods and smelled the delicious smell of the forest. Then back to SF and had a giant latte in preparation for the night ahead.

Myself and three others from the tour went out to the mission district for a delicious tapas dinner then cocktails on a rooftop bar overlooking the city. The contrast between the fog and city lights was stunning. Then onto a dive bar called Elbo room for beers, tequila and pinball. It was a blast!

Yesterday I got up reasonably early and took a hike up the hills of SF to find the famous Lombard street - the crookedest street in the world. It was pretty crooked. There's not really much else to say about it.

Onto Fishermans whalf to see the hundreds of sea lions that hang out there. Man, it smells bad. The intense smell of fish is not the best thing for a hangover, let me tell you. And the noise!

Off to Alcatraz, which I can't stop referring to as Azcaban. It was a great tour, narrated by actual guards and prisoners who were interned there.

And then I headed back to Union Square, picking up a delcious taco on the way. I was absolutely knackered, but summoned up enough energy to check out Japantown.

Back to the hostel, energy sapped. I had sushi in my room watching the Tyra Banks show and marvelling at the ridiculous commercials on American TV.

Today I'm planning to get to Golden Gate Park, and meet up with Bunny for some further shopping.

And then HoopCamp tomorrow! The second stage of this adventure begins....
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