Time to start blogging about our recent trip to USA in September 2006. My wife and I have been flying to San Francisco on September 4th to start a one month journey through Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
It hasn’t been our first trip to the states. We have been in California and the SouthWest a couple of times, we have been at the East coast and in Florida. This time we had been curious to explore the Northwestern part of the states between San Francisco and Seattle.
Thus – let me start a series of blog posts here to tell you more about this wonderful trip we have done together with some of the photos I have taken.
September 4th (Day 1): Arrival
After a 11 hour flight we arrived at San Francisco International Airport. Immigration and baggage pick-up went very fast – creating pictures and electronic fingerprints just takes a few seconds – and also due to the new monorail transportation system they have installed there it has been very efficient and convenient to get to the rental car parking garage. We picked up a Chrysler “Town+Country” Mini Van from dollar and followed the Highway 101 to downtown and the Fishermans Wharf area where we checked into our hotel around 2:30 pm. We had pre-booked this place for the next 2 nights from Germany; for all the other upcoming days we have been flexible at all where to go and how long to stay there.
Even it has been a long day for us with an 8 hour time zone shift we used the afternoon to explore the area around Fisherman’s Wharf, have some Clam Showder for dinner and then go to bed early. From former experience with jet lags I knew: we would wake up much earlier than we wanted to.
|Welcome to Fisherman’s Wharf !||Ship of the Blue & Gold fleet leaving Alcatraz|
September 5th (Day 2): San Francisco
Since we have visted San Francisco a couple of times in the past we decided to visit places we have not seen before like Alcatraz.
First thing in the morning of course was a hearty breakfast in a dennys restaurant. This grand slam with eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes is just great and keeps me going through most of the day.
At Pier 41 we bought tickets for a tour to Alcatraz at 1:45 pm. In the morning after exploring Pier 39 and watching the sea lions living there we walked up to Telegraph Hill and climbed on top of Coit Tower to enjoy an excellent view over bay area and San Francisco skyline. We then continued our walk down to Columbus Avenue and into downtown, not missing to visit the Embarcadero Center and the atrium of the Hyatt Regency Hotel – always a fascinating place because of its dizzy architecture.
A cable car brought us to the Fairmont Hotel at Powell Street from where we walked back to the piers to catch our boat for the tour to Alcatraz.
On Alacatrz we participated in a ranger talk about escape attempts. According to him 5 people made it to escape from Alcatraz, nevertheless 4 of them never have been seen again and one was found nonsentinent close to the Golden Gage Bridge in the water – he woke up in Alactraz’ hospital later on. Thus there seems to be no evidence for any successful escape from Alactraz.
We ended the day with a coffee in a Starbucks restaurant, one of my wife’s favorite places, and some beer and small dinner in an Irish Pub close to our hotel.