Following on from where I left off last time,
Tuesdays baseball match was so much fun! The game itself was an incredibly bad one with a score of only 1 home run but the experience itself was so good that if it was a great game I think it would be even better. I didn’t even get bored aswell, I could probably get into going to games more often, hopefully i’ll get more chances this summer.
The next day was time for my Alcatraz tour. I noticed you could hire bikes from the hostel at just $17 instead of $36 so I thought i’d go for it. It was the best decision i’ve made all trip.
When I first picked up the bike I was literally walking it down the street, I really didn’t wanna ride on the roads.. especially with no helmet. So I walked it all the way down to the Ferry Building on the harbour. I then decided i’d give it a go and ride in the bike lane cos they actually had one on this street. After a few seconds I was into it. Got used to the roads so quickly it was great! Eventually after about 10 minutes of riding I got off at Pier 33. This is where i’d take the ferry to Alcatraz Island.
Alcatraz: I don’t even know where to start with this one. It was one of the best experiences so far. When I got to the island I watched a 17 minute movie about the history of the island.. Didn’t realise there were families living on the island alongside the prisoners, it was like a little town. I also learnt about all the escapes and the Indians who took over the island after the prison shut down.. It was so interesting.
I then walked up to the top of the island where the prison was. Inside the prison I got given some headphones and I was about to take a 45 minute walking tour narrated by the officers that worked there long ago and 4 convicts who were in the prison when it was active. It was really historical and interesting to learn about the break-outs. As you walked down the corridors and into the cells you could hear sound effects and stories about the prisoners, they told you through your headset exactly where to walk as well so it was like a day in prison. I also opted to get locked in the solitary confinement where you would sleep on the floor and see daylight only for 5 seconds when they push your food through the door.
After I returned to San Francisco I got back on my bike and rode along the harbour past Fisherman’s Wharf. It was really beautiful and probably the best bike ride i’ll ever take. It took me about an hour to ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and I knew it would be a good few miles before i’d get to the ferry in Saulaoito at the other side of the bridge. I think I rode around 10 miles. I need to get fitter cos the hills were impossible for me lol
When I finally made it back the hostel I was really happy with the day, I think it was my best day in California so far 🙂 I then met my new roommate from Amsterdam. She was really nice and we went out for pizza but ended up going to the cinema aswell. Saw Now you see me on an XD screen which was super massive with really comfy seats. It was fun 😀 We walked back together but walked to far and ended up walking past a bunch of prostitutes, a lot of them were men in drag lol.
Finally went to bed at 2am and got up at 6 ready for Yosemite. I was to goto the park with my other roommate Anna and whoever would join us from the hostel. It turned out we were joined by a guy from Brighton and a girl from Australia.
The tour was really fun, the guide would tell us interesting facts along the drive and we stopped off at a fruit store and a few food places too. I kept getting my value meals from Burger King, nice and cheap.. Especially compared to England.
Finally reached Yosemite after around a 4 hour drive. The first view we saw was incredible (The photo of me on the wall). It was the most beautiful landscape i’ve ever seen. Breathtaking..
Afterwards we saw many more views and had the chance to go on a trail. Me and 2 others decided to take the 1 mile walk to Mirror Lake. It was pretty, we saw horses and a snake! We also had a paddle at the end but the water was freezing! Even in the 34 degree heat.
We saw the worlds 5th tallest waterfall and a lot of other pretty views. It was such a nice place, a lot better than the Grand Canyon actually. I think I could have done with more than a day there though, it would be nice to stay in a lodge and explore the place more. I really wanted to ride a horse aswell and it wasn’t too expensive, neither was the gift shop where I got my magnet 🙂 I even saw a deer on my way back from the shop.
Got back to the hostel about 9pm where I thought i’d just go out one last time for pizza and to see the city at night one more time. Had a great time in San Francisco and probably would go again since there’s so many things to do there, perhaps one day i’ll go with Stu 🙂
Tonight I arrived in Chicago and met some of my roomates, I hung out with 3 of them from St Louis, France and San Diego. They’re all really nice we just walked around the streets and then went for Starbucks. It was fun and nice to chat to people again 🙂 I’m not tired because of the time difference, i’m 2 hours behind everyone so i’m just writing this whilst everyone is asleep. Tomorrow i’m going for a walking tour around Chicago, hopefully that will be good cos atm it just looks like a small version of New York so it’ll be nice to see more. I’m also going to head to the pier and the blues festival that’s currently in town!