We helped ourselves to breakfast and briefly discussed what the plan for the day was. Once
again we let Ursine pilot us in her Mercury. One of the first points on the agenda was
Golden Gate Bridge, the trademark of San Francisco and probably the most famous bridge in
the world. Indeed it was quite exhilarating to drive across this famous structure. We went
to the north shore and drove into the hills that overlook the entire Bay Area in order to
take some pictures.
The climate of Middle California was quite different than what we had gotten used to in
LA. A strong wind contributed to the chilly feel of the day; it couldn't have been more
than 60F even though the sun was shining. The view from the hills was nice but we didn't
stay around for longer than we absolutely had to.
Freezing in Marin County
We headed back across Golden Gate and into San Francisco. We toured the characteristic
streets that are made famous by car chases in films such as "Bullitt" with Steve
McQueen, and "Dirty Harry" with Clint Eastwood. Our speed was somewhat more
leisurely but we weren't chasing criminals in the first place. The next stop was the Coit
Tower, a lookout point, which also gave a nice elevated view of the area. To the east we
could see Oakland and other bridges that span the Bay. In the other directions the
financial district with its skyscrapers, and the to the west the ocean could be seen.
San Francisco is also famous for its streetcars. We rode one for a few blocks in order to
get to another landmark: Lombard Street, probably the most crooked street in the world.
Next we drove across town, left the car in a parking complex and headed towards the
seaport on foot. The wharves were crammed with tourists and vendors. We discovered that
the next ferry to Alcatraz wouldn't leave for ages so we dropped the idea of visiting this
infamous prison. Instead we strolled along the piers and watched a large colony of sea
lions occupy several low, wooden jetties.
By this time hunger began to take control of us. We decided for Chinese for a change and
none of us regretted the choice. We could choose from several types of chicken, seafood,
and, of course, rice. The food was excellent and cheap as well.
Later we visited Ghirardelli's, a large chocolate store. It carried every type of
chocolate imaginable, everything from the darkest to the whitest. Everybody sought out his
or her personal favorite before we headed back to the car.
To round the sightseeing off, we went to a bar on the Pacific Shore. From our table we had
a lovely view to the Ocean and the setting sun. We stayed for more than an hour while
chatting and writing postcards.
Later that evening back at the house we decided to go see a movie. We had to hurry if we
were to catch the 10:30 PM showing of "Mission: Impossible" in the local Century
Cinema. We missed the opening credits but at least we were able to find our seats in the
darkness. The film wasn't as bad as "Twister" but that didn't stop Niels from
catching a nap toward the end. It must have been all that fresh seaside air!
See more photos from May 29.
Area map of San Francisco (>300 Kb).
Movie review - Mission: Impossible.
Go to the next page in the Diary (May 30).