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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Big Sis in a Small World
California – Redwoods & San Francisco (7-8 June 2007)

Make like a tree, and leave.Once away from the lovely Oregon, it was time for the long drive towards the Redwood Forest to see the biggest tree in the world (or was it the 7th biggest tree in the world?). There is a tree big enough to drive through anyway. Unfortunately, after much searching and looking up at lots of leafy things, we gave up on finding the biggest tree and settled for some Redwoods which were still pretty large by anyone’s standards. Naturally, I felt the need to do my tree impression.

Hotel California

The long drive carried on and on and on through most of the night until we arrived in San Francisco, the land of steep hills, foggy bridges and expensive hotels, like this one: the Mark Hopkins hotel at the top of Nob Hill. But it had a nice view, especially as our room was half way towards to the moon.

Halfway to the Moon
The next morning, J and I decided to do a running tour (literally) of the city which was a little challenging when we came across hills such as the one below. But we got to see some sights, including the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was soon time for our tour of Alcatraz.

Over the HillGolden Gate Bridge

Alcatraz, so I’d heard, was a ‘must see’ in San Francisco and as I’d missed out seven years ago because I didn’t buy my ticket ten days in advance, we felt quite excited at this opportunity to visit an island where many a hardened criminal had been akeeping.

En Route to Alcatraz
Unfortunately, within minutes of arriving on the island, I realised it was not my type of place. It was about 10 degrees colder than San Francisco (which was cold enough) and there was a permanent cloud which appeared to hover over the island. All this aside, I felt obliged to take advantage of the free audio tour. This would have been ok if I hadn’t fast forwarded my handset (in an effort to escape the island quicker) on several occasions, which resulted in me getting lost when I had to follow an instruction such as “follow the dark alleyway on the left”.

J in Alcatraz

J on the other hand, felt much more at home, especially when he excitedly spotted some supposedly famous British TV presenter who talks about soccer (sorry, football) on a dodgy Cable TV channel. Eager to capture the moment, I posed for a quick photo in front of him, in the hope that someone on Phil’s blog will be able to verify that he is indeed famous and not just some bloke that J imagined when longing for warm sunny days back in England. Take a look...

Name That Celeb
J had decided to go vegetarian for the week (nothing to do with me – I think his brain had been affected by the cold) so we finished off the day by going to a very trendy totally vegetarian restaurant overlooking the bay of San Fran. If only I’d remembered my camera, you would have had another ten photos to look at.