City by the Bay!!!!

San Francisco!So SF is a pretty awesome place but after 2 weeks of the tranquility of NZ it was a bit of a culture shock!

So we started out on fisherman’s wharf… And we got there by cable car… Which is the most awesome method of conveyance ever! 

So the scheme is this… There is a rope running beneath the road and rails… And this is constantly moving. The driver controls a leaver which clamps onto the rope and hauls the car along. The driver can let go and use brakes made of wooden blocks to control the speed… This does cause the smell of burning wood to rise up at the bottom of a hill!

  
Fisherman’s Wharf is fun… It’s heaving with shops and food and things to spend your money on lol (which we did!)

There is a short stretch of beach which we sat on and watched the world go by.. Such a lovely treat to sit and look at the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon sun. 

  
And if you’re down that way… Order the clam chowder! It is super awesome tasty! And it comes in a sourdough bread bowl which you can dip, nibble or just ditch afterwards.

So next morning then and it was time for the big one… Alcatraz!

  
I’d really been looking forward to this one… We set out from pier 33 and sailed for 15 minutes to the island. The federal notices are still in place warning the general public that it’s a prison. You still follow the 1/4 mile path up to the cell house… The same path walked by the prisoners and into the processing area, this still has the showers and the area where they provided them with clothes etc. It was said of Alcatraz.. “If you break the rules; you go to prison, if you break the prison rules you go to Alcatraz”. Everything was a privilege and you were promised nothing but food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. It was pretty amazing to stand on “Broadway” the central passage of the cell house; the areas all had names like that and “Broadway” is the most famous. To get a sensation of the place, the grim oppression of it… 

   
 This was a place of punishment. It has to be said that whilst I agree in reform there are a few news stories that make me think that The Rock should reopen for business.

In the afternoon we visited The Castro.. This is the massive LGBT part of town and somewhere Twizzles and I feel very comfortable… The whole area just feels very open, welcoming and relaxed… We did some shopping here and had Mexican for lunch, the crosswalk in the centre of the area has rainbow tracks on the ground and up on a flagpole at the start of Castro is the biggest pride flag you’ll ever see! 

   
 We rounded out our trip with a quick visit to Chinatown 

  
(mostly to get another suitcase lol) and finished up in Lori’s diner on Pine&Powell… Now this is the place to go for an amazing all American dinner, burgers, shakes, beers and everything else you’d expect in a classic diner! 

  
Do you know, I’m finishing this on the last plane, the final leg of our round the world adventure. I know Twizzles hasn’t written about penguins yet, I’ll get her to do it. And perhaps she might share a very special thing that happened on the flight from Boston to Reykjavik.

I’ll write something to conclude this voyage in a few days time.

Meanwhile, be extremely excellent to each other.

Love and hugs 

Z xx

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