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San Francisco

USA | Wednesday, 23 May 2007 | Views [577]

We arrived in San Francisco on the Friday afternoon and it was such a nice change from New York – it was glorious sunshine, even though it wasn’t especially hot, it was less hectic and had a really nice vibrant atmosphere. As soon as you walked in the hostel you felt relaxed and everyone was really friendly and there was a huge ballroom which they used as the common room/dining room so we spent most nights just chilling in there with people. Any one that goes to San Fran has to stay at the Green Tortoise. There is free breakfast as well as free dinner on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which was really nice and very close to a home cooked meal (which I already am really missing even after only 3 weeks – I dream of a meal that comes with vegetables and a carbohydrate that isn’t deep fried!). We stayed in the annexe which was a block away from the main hostel, which only has 8 rooms with its own kitchen and bathrooms (and no noisy Canadians running around at 3am). The annexe also had a terrace which looked out onto the Bay Bridge and the skyscrapers in the city centre.

Friday night was ‘Pub Crawl’ night so we thought we had better go along. Everyone was really nice but we had the unfortunate company of a group of 19 year old Canadians who had fake IDs. They were so loud and absolutely off their faces before we even started. They kept on going round shouting “Canada, Fuck Yeah!!” and one of them was challenging people to a fight saying that he could beat anyone down as he was Canadian. You can imagine how annoying they were, though it helped to bring the rest of the group together so at least something good came of it. We managed to loose them after the 3rd bar as they were becoming a liability. One of them, Pat, decided to stay with the main group and spent the rest of the night buying us all drinks (sweet!) to make up for his friends behaviour and to show us that not all Canadians are idiots. Though I shouldn’t really laugh I did get some pleasure from the fact that the ring leader who had been going round trying to start fights had obviously done it to the wrong person and had been bottled! He did really deserve it, and it was only a small cut….

The most random part of Friday night, however, happened to Stuart, who we met on the pub crawl but then left us all to go to a gig. He was staggering home at 3am and managed to make it back to the hostel, but when he was crossing the road to get to it three police officers on motorbikes swarmed in on him and gave him a ticket for… crossing the road before the little green man came on! I didn’t even know that you could be arrested for that!! It was so funny, but the crazy thing is that something so simple could affect whether he would be able to enter the country again. Stuart had to go to court on the Monday to sort it out and the best part was that the police officer had filled in the ticket in incorrectly so it was invalid and he got away with it.

We spent a large portion of Saturday in bed as poor Rich was feeling a tad hungover – as it rained all day this wasn’t such a loss. That night we went to see Electric Six, which was really cool. Everyone loves a bit of Gay Bar, Gay Bar!

On Sunday there was a big festival to celebrate Earth Day in Golden Gate Park. There were lots of bands playing but we only saw Steven Marley, who was really good. The festival is all about being eco-friendly so it was hippy heaven – I felt out of place as I wasn’t wearing tie-dye and didn’t have dreadlocks. We then had to mission it back in time to get the ferry to Alcatraz. Alcatraz is an odd place, it looks really lonely all alone in the bay and so it has a mysterious air about it. Inside the prison is smaller than I thought it would be but the tour is well worth it. It’s a very good incentive not to do anything that would lead you to jail!

On Tuesday we hired bikes and cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge to Salsalito and Tiburon, two very nice idyllic harbour towns on the other side of the bay. A total journey of 21 miles! Boy did I feel like I’d achieved something! The view of the bridge as you ride up to it and then of the bay once on the bridge is breath-taking, and yes I am the fool who forgot to take any pictures (I also managed to delete all of my photos of Coachella, dumbass!!) so you will have to take my word for it.

I fell in love with San Francisco while we were there, it’s just a very chilled out city (think it’s all the hippy influence) and very beautiful. You all have to visit!!

Tags: Adventures

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