So after a great-“I’m not sleeping on a train or in a paddock”-night’s sleep, o after a great a train or in a paddock'got back on a train or two and made my way back into the city. Strolled along the waterfront from the ferry building to the Alcatraz landing…where I learnt that I really should have done some pre planning for this trip as there were no available tickets to the Rock until the end of August. Oops :P
So wandered down to super touristy pier 39 and jumped on an Escape from the Rock cruise so I figured that was about as close as I would get. After getting slightly creeped out by the English girl behind me who was playing some sort of morbid game with her family where they had to pick a door to walk through, all of which ended in a horrible death of some description (I’m pretty sure the family considered leaving her behind on the pier by the time we boarded), posed for the obligatory green screen photo and headed out.
Cruised out under the Golden Gate bridge, took a lap of Alcatraz, up under the Bay Bridge and back past the sea lions to the pier. Got a pretty good audio commentary and plenty of history along the way so that kind of made up for it. Stopped off for a bowl of clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, then wandered around the pier and down to Fisherman’s Wharf where I found the Museum Mechanique, a huge collection of old coin operated arcade games (and few naughty peepshows).
Hike up to Lombard to see the windy road (must suck to live on that street but very pretty all the same). Then up to Ghiradelli square (free chocolate samples, woohoo!) and watched the cable car turn around. Climbed some more hills and strolled through Chinatown and back to the train.
After a super cute start to the day at Hathaway’s music class, we all piled in the car and headed to the Presido where we found a helpful security guard to direct us to the Yoda statue which is actually a fountain in front of the ILM building and the lobby was full of lightsabers, figurines and life-sized Boba Fett and Darth Vader. Nerd paradise!
Then since we were so close we headed up to Golden Gate Bridge and walked across. Great views and a very cool experience J Stopped for a giant pizza, and then with a certain someone very much in need of a nap (and it not being me for a change) I got dropped off at huge Golden Gate park for a few hours of exploring the parks. Found the Aids memorial which is actually a huge grove of trees, a creek and inscribed boulders. Very beautiful and tranquil. Found a series of trails off the beaten path and got some good Camino training done, but still only got less than half way through the park.
Hiked up to Alamo Square for spectacular views over the city and the Painted Ladies (they’re houses, not hookers by the way :P). Down past the fancy arts district and then back up through Little Saigon (apparently) and Chinatown again before heading back to the train once again.