Friday, September 30, 2011

US Holiday - Day 18 - San Francisco - Day 4

Day 18 - Monday 26th September
Woke up with the plan to make the most of the day in SF. I arose around 7am and looking out the window and up to the sky and couldn’t see any shades of blue. But after having a shower the sky was certainly more blue then grey. So by the time I had walked out of the hotel at 8am it was certainly going to be an absolutely stunning day. So the first place I wanted to visit was the Civic Plaza. Some great shots there and I continued onto some of the streets leading up to Alamo Square. This has some houses called the “Painted Ladies” and has great views back towards the city.
I then headed in the direction of the Golden Gate Bridge walking up and down the hills that seem to pop out of no where. I then arrived in the suburb of Pacific Heights. Okay there is definitely some money in this suburb.  Some beautiful houses that overlook the San Francisco bay towards the east. From there I entered the Presidio and past the Walt Disney Museum. It was at this point there appeared to be some roadworks taking place which would prevent me from getting through to the Golden Gate Bridge. But I continued on thinking I would be able to get through the Presidio Cemetry. But no joy there and as I was preparing to turn around a car stopped and offered me a 7 day pass for the trolley cars. I readily accepted it.
Had to back track before I could then get on a road that took me down by the water. It was at this point I started having the unrestricted views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately there was a fog bank still sitting underneath the bridge. But never the less the view was awesome and hearing the fog horn going off put it into perspective. Grabbed a coffee and sat outside. It was at this point I noticed a cruise ship coming through the fog underneath the bridge. That explained all the fog horns going off. It was certainly a big cruise ship and looked to just miss the bottom of the bridge before making it’s way past Alcatraz Island before picking up a few tugs to put it into port.
I then waited for one of those hop on / hop off buses to arrive and got on for the ride through the rest of SF city. I stayed on the bus for one complete loop before getting off at the Golden Gate Bridge again. By this time the fog underneath the bridge had burned off completely so it was time to get some ideal pictures of the bridge. Absolutely no clouds and just beautiful blue sky. Lots of photos and video and walked across part of the bridge before reboarding the bus and getting off at Haight Ashbury. This is the old hippy part of town and the smell of pot was very pervasive as I walked down the main street. Lots of tattoo and piercing stores and alternative living.
After making my way through the main street I then headed back to Alamo Square for some shots with the sun in a better position. Lots of photos before walking back down to Civic Plaza and getting back on the “Hop On Hop Off” bus. Took the bus round to Fishermans Wharf where I got off and walked up to one of the starting points for the trolley cars. Only had to wait about 15 minutes to get on the trolley car. I was positioned on the outside of the car and used the ticket that the kind people gave me earlier on in the day. What a great score.
The trolley car travelled up the steep hills of SF and I got some great footage hanging loose out the side. Eventually got off the car near Union Square and whilst it was not high on the list of things to do in SF, I am certainly glad that I ticked that box.
After getting back to the hotel it was time to pack and see if I can catch up with one last person in SF, an ex-work colleague from my first job at DST. But unfortunately Sharon had a work function to attended and given it was her first day in SF, a bit too much to do in the one day.
Tomorrow will be an early  start as I head off to Yosemite National Park.

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