I’d heard great things about the city of San Francisco and it had been ‘on my list’ for some years. A 3 day stay there was to be the start of a road trip and I did absolutely love the city despite a very bad experience on the first day. We had parked at the Palace of Fine Arts and wanted to just take our cameras for a stroll around it. Upon returning to the car about 40 minutes later we found our car had its rear window smashed and all our bags taken. The rest of our camera kit, some clothes, my laptop bag, my purse with credit cards and driving licence, and my iPhone together with many other items. 7 hours was spent that afternoon changing the rental car and dealing with ‘stuff’. The police have no doubt that we were watched as we put everything in the boot and targeted once we were far enough away. Whilst that was a horrible (and expensive) experience, so many lovely people came up to us to offer their condolences, and some gorgeous girls who were having picnic came and gave us a plate of food whilst we were waiting for the police to come. I was determined not to let the incident spoil the rest of the trip although it was a major inconvenience, and there were quite a few occasions when I wished I had my stolen lenses with me.
I have since renamed the Palace of Fine Arts. It will now forever be known to us as The Temple of Doom.
Luck was on our side with views of the Golden Gate Bridge though. It’s often shrouded in fog, but we had clear blue skies for most of the time we were there.
San Francisco has a mixture of interesting housing and I loved the fact that many of the streets are tree-lined. This row of Victorian Houses is known as ‘The Painted Ladies’ and apparently one of them sold for $3.5 million in 2020!
Stand on a hill opposite the houses and you can see the interesting mix of old and new buildings.
I knew that San Francisco is hilly but wasn’t prepared for just how steep some of those hills are. You literally cannot see the road over the car bonnet/hood just before going over ‘the edge’ 🙂
A trip out to the infamous Alcatraz was really interesting. A couple of the most well known inmates were Al “Scarface” Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. The audio tour is very informative and includes narration from some of the ex-prisoners and guards. The ‘rock’ as it was locally known was re-fortified into the world’s most secure prison in 1934, and despite the odds, 36 men tried 14 separate escapes. Nearly all were caught or didn’t survive the attempt. The fate of three particular inmates, however, remains a mystery to this day and here is the FBI account of their fascinating story.
There were 3 tiers of cells and the noise must have been incredible.
Below is the exercise yard and lookout tower. Despite the blue sky there was a very cold wind and the high walls didn’t seem to block it. Bottom Right – I was very surprised to see lots of wildflowers on ‘the rock’.
The ferry journey back was also really cold due to the wind, but conditions for this sailing boat seemed ideal.
It was also nice to see the San Francisco skyline from the water.
3 days in SF was just about enough to see everything I wanted to see, despite the time spent dealing with the car incident on the first day. Next stop – a drive northeast to Lake Tahoe.