Sunday, July 09, 2006

My 4 night, 5 day stopover in San Francisco was only meant to be a chance to catch up on my sleep and get geared up for the tortuous 18 hr flight to Sydney. Well, well, isn't it always the case that when you have no great expectations about a place, you end up having an AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT TIME??

This is not to say that I was under the impression San Francisco would be boring or like any other American city. Quite the contrary - everyone told me it was a wonderful place and I had no reason to doubt that it was, but to be fair, I was focusing most of my energies on the final destination.

Well, in any case, I am in love with the city and, if I weren't going to Oz, I daresay the immigration officials would regret letting me in the States - cause I'd be trying to settle in here :)

The hostel I am staying at is absolutely the BEST! It's called the Green Tortoise hostel, and it's got loads of character, loads of fellow travellers and loads of free food!!! Seriously - free brekkie every day AND free (decent) dinner 3 times a week.

So, upon arriving Friday afternoon, I v. quickly befriended an English girl who's been travelling America for the past 9 weeks. We headed out to explore and eventually made our way down to the famous Fisherman's Wharf, which was totally touristy, but I loved it! Ghiradelli's chocolates, clam chowder in sourdough bowls, homeless guys holding signs that read 'Need Beer', and an absolutely beautiful view of the harbour - the Golden Gate Bridge and A;catraz island.

After a bit of wandering, we headed back to the hostel for free dinner and then freshened up for the hostel pub crawl. Despite going on only 3 hours sleep from the night before AND gaining 4 hours in tiem difference, I somehow managed to last the entire crawl - I think the vodka drinks helped. We met some English and Danish blokes and a good night was had by all.

The next morning Claire and I made our way back to Fisherman's Wharf. Claire had a ticket for the Alcatraz tour and I was going to try my luck with a Stand-By, since they were all sold out for the next two days. Well, as it turned out..the horseshoe is still residing in my behind, and I managed to get a ticket for a boat leaving before Claire's. Once on the island, I waited for Claire and then we toured it together. It was prett y spectacular - there were birds everywhere, and I learned that the island used to be a military fort and was also the site of a Native AMerican protest during the late sixties. We saw the cells where Al Capone and the Birdman spent their nights.

After Alcatraz, we made our way to the famous Powell-Mason cable car line, and hopped on for a ride up the steep, steep hills of San Francisco. I actually stood on the side rail and hung out of the car - it was brilliant! Plus we managed to avoid paying the ticket price, although I still don't know how.

That evening we met up with some English blokes from the hostel and tagged along with them to a fancy restaurant/club, which they'd reserved the night before. The place was called Asia SF, and specialised in Asian Fusion food. As well, all the waitresses were transgender illusionists and all quite stunning beauties. I was jealous of their cellulite free legs. They did lip sync/dance routins on the bar while we wined and dined.

Yesterday, we decided to hire bikes and cross the Golden Gate bridge. It was an absolutely brilliant way to see San Francisco. It was sunny when we started towards the bridge, but the bridge itself was cloaked in a low, heavy cloud. It was foggy and bloody windy crossing the bridge and you couldn't see for any distance ahead or to either side. Once we made it to the other side the clouds miraculously parted and it was sunny once again. The clouds continued to hang over the bridge as we ventured on towards Sausalito city, which was a seaside town that reminded me of a cross between the French riveria and a quaint English town. We whiled away a few hours there, just enjoying the town's lovely mainstreet and harbour views. Finally we took a boat back to Fisherman's Wharf and headed back to the hostel for a good long sleep - well deserved I daresay/

Today the plan is to go to Downtown San Fran for some shopping and then to catch a movie tonight - An Inconvenient Truth! Tomorrow is my last day here, and I head off to Oz at 9.30 pm. Looking forward to it all, will post again once settled in the land of Oz!


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Anonymous said...

I've just been hanging out not getting anything done, but so it goes. It's not important. I haven't been up to much today.
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Anonymous said...

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