The final leg of our roadtrip saw us returning to where we had flown in – San Francisco – but this time staying over for three wonderful nights.
One of the highlights of our entire trip was our hotel in Pacific Heights called Drisco. It was almost certainly the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in – the location and temperament of the accommodation was excellent, the service was friendly and generous (free bottle of champagne on our arrival, free jelly belly, a DVD library to borrow from) but the nightly (free) wine and cheese tasting was just the icing on the cake – it was pretty much all you can drink wine in the dining room between 5pm and 7:30pm. We took advantage of this!
The view from the hotel across Pacific Heights:
Our first full day in San Francisco we spent scouting out Golden Gate bridge (I wanted to find a spot for doing some photos at night) and visiting the excellent Exploratorium. We also met some friends on Pier 39 and I had a delicious Tuna Burger from Neptune’s Restaurant at the end of the pier.
It was hard to get to a good viewpoint of the bridge as there were sections of the beaches closed for refurbishment work, however I managed to get below Battery Godfrey from a bit of a trek across Baker Bridge:
Detail of the bridge:
Our Alcatraz tour on our first day had been cancelled because of the ongoing park closure but suddenly, on the news, it was announced a deal had been struck. Our hotel was excellent in securing us tickets for the next day, so we spent that day in our first (official) visit to a National Park of the holiday!
The Alcatraz Cellblock:
Alcatraz water tower:
It was an interesting trip and well worth seeing. A view of the island when taking the ferry back to Pier 39:
We took a walk up Lombard Street and watched the cable cars come up Hyde Street with Alcatraz in the Background:
We also took a trip back to Pier 39 during daylight hours to see the Californian Sea Lions (which made a hell of a racket):
That evening, I left Laura at the wine tasting and took a trip back to the Golden Gate bridge visitor centre to get a twilight shot of the bridge:
From here, I drove to the Golden Gate Overlook (which looked incomplete or under construction.. I may have hopped a few barriers to get to my vantage point). This gave a view straight along the bridge and with the night traffic crossing I took this shot:
Our last morning in the US we intended to drive across the Golden Gate bridge to the Marin Headlands (which is part of the Golden Gate National Park and was now open) however we hit a bit of a snag. Thick Fog. So ultimately we ended up driving across the bridge and heading straight back, as you couldn’t see the views of San Francisco from across the bay!
Instead we went to the urban park to see the Bison and then stopped by at the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens:
And with that it was time to head back to the airport and fly home: