San Francisco city tour, July '97

Did the San Francisco and Alcatraz tour. Also saw more of the city on the way to Muir Woods. We stayed in the heart of the city in a well recommended hotel. Saw some of the inner city, homes and businesses, locations made famous by movie car chases and the Doubtfire house. Saw the Pacific Ocean and the beach, 'little boxes on the hillside' and panoramic views of the city and Bay from a very elevated site. Crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and came back again to Pier 39 where we took a boat tour to Alcatraz Island. Also crossed the Bay Bridge at night and saw the city and the bridge under lights.

Levi's were very cheap but space was at a premium in the suitcase. Bought some music CD's for half the Aussie price . The outskirts of the city seemed fairly liveable; nice parks, plenty to do and see, but I believe the real estate prices are horrendous.

The city is not the place to go wandering around at night. In fact it was a little unnerving at times. There were vagrants on every corner and one or two in between asking for money. One fellow approached us with a paper bag and claimed he had something to sell us (drugs I presumed.) In general though, after the first refusal, most left you alone. I guess there are enough people around to make a few dollars on the few who do give. By the way, I did donate a few times but soon became accustomed to refusing. Continual handouts for 'gratuities' soon depleted my cash reserves. Americans must feel very comfortable visiting Australian cities. Even the exchange rates are in their favour.

City from hill lookout, City Tram at turntable, Lombard Street from the Tram

Golden Gate Bridge

The Pacific Ocean, Aussie Red Flowering Gums

Sea Lions, Pier 39 Criuse to Alcatraz

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