May 11, 2004
I must admit that in the beginning I had some security concerns. Even though San Francisco wasn't in the top 3 in the murders per year statistics (actually I don't know its rank, I only know that Chicago, New York and Los Angeles were first in 2003) it's still a big city and in the US that always means you need to be especially careful. The security tips we got from the car rental also weren't reassuring (those tips are e.g. not to stop in a road to read the map, if you approach your parked car first look whether nobody hides behind or under the car, don't drive with the windows open etc.). In our hotel they also provided us with a very good and detailed map and always explained the way very good to us. They also gave us a toll free telephone number of our hotel we should call immediately in case we lost our way. But well, the sun was shining and many people drove with open windows and didn't seem to be too concerned at all so finally I relaxed too.
I think I also have to mention here that later on our flight back from Maui to Vancouver Island we spent another night in San Francisco and when we arrived late at night and hastily ran for our bus to the hotel I totally forgot my notebook with all my pictures and left it in the trolley. Fortunately a kind American man ran after us and stopped the bus to give us our notebook. Thank you very much! :) It helped my feeling that despite all the security warnings Americans are very friendly and helpful people!
Our first day we actually spent in San Francisco itself and just walked a bit around. Sure, the cable cars look interesting, you can have a look at Alcatraz from the shore and San Francisco really is a mountaineous city! But the main attraction for me definitively was Pier 39! The seals and sealions there are really a must see! The sealions lie there lazyly wanting to take a nap or get tanned by the sun. But their quietness is interrupted by the seals who just walk over them or fight noisily with each other usually trying to throw each other into the water. From time to time one of the sealions has enough and stands up majestically roaring loadly. This lets the seals look kind of amused to the sealions and bark back. It's really a spectacle we could watch for a long time!
May 12, 2004
We drove along Highway 1 and stopped at several beaches. They are really very beautiful and somehow every beach looked totally different (one was very steep, one had black sand, one had nice yellow sand, another yellow sand but with bigger corns, still another was a pebble beach and then there was rocky coast inbetween..). But the water really is cooold there!!
May 13, 2004
Finally we went to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It's really an impressive bridge. After having been directly at the bridge we drove around Lincoln Boulevard and walked along Baker Beach, then we drove through a rather rich looking neighbourhood before we went again to those beautiful beaches from the day before.
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