|| Home |||April-20th-2002|
1st of June - The overnight stay on the parking lot of Wal Mart had one advantage, it was free and we had fresh bagels for breakfast. The closer we got to San Francisco, the heavier the traffic became. Compared to five years ago, when Anke had already once been in the USA, today nobody seems to keep speed limits. They drove at least 5 mph too fast in general and skipped from one lane to the next. The campground (Candlestick RV Park) was easy to find. The $46 for the camping site hurt us deeply, but we had no other possibility. San Francisco is very expensive in general. The campground was actually a kind of a parking lot where the motorhomes stood closely next to each other. The campground offers a shuttle service to San Francisco Downtown, which is not quite cheap ($5 one-way, $8 round-trip). Actually we wanted to take the public bus for $1. Since the bus does not go according to the timetable and we had already been waiting a while in vain, we finally took the campground shuttle. Besides the campground borders on one of the most dangerous areas of San Francisco, as we were told.
Having arrived in Downtown, we went along Powell Street to Fisherman´s Wharf. The ascents of the streets were quite steep and exhausting. At 2 p.m. our tour to Alcatraz started, which we had booked already two days before by phone - with $13.25 not quite a cheap fun. The telephone reservation fee of $2.25 was a bit impudent in our opinion. On the prison island we got the devices for an audio-tour (in different languages available) handed out, which we explored Alcatraz with. The audio-tour was very interesting, but altogether Alcatraz made a bit of a shabby impression on us and not well maintained. In our opinion there has been done not enough on the island if you consider the money we had to pay for visiting Alcatraz.
After a short stroll along Fisherman´s Wharf, the tourist center of S.F., we went to Fort Mason and from there we took the bus to the Golden Gate Bridge. Here we spend some time and also walked half the way over the bridge in order to admire the gigantic construction at close range. We were fairly lucky with the weather. It was cloudy and rather fresh (15°C), with strong wind, but the sun came through from time to time. In the San Francisco Bay the weather can change within a few minutes, thus we were glad about its stability. We wanted to close the day with a nice dinner. In our travel guide we had read about a very excellent Chinese restaurant (Hunan, 924 Sansome Street). The restaurant proved to be an absolute lucky choice. The meal was delicious, plenty and not expensive. For our dishes we only paid $8.25 each. We went back again to the campground by the 9 o´clock shuttle.
2nd of June - We still wanted to spend the day in San Francisco. Since there was no possibility to park the motorhome on the campground, we had to look for something in the city center. That was somewhat difficult. The city is absolutely not made for motorhomes. Either it is not allowed to park with the RV on some parking lots or you cannot drive on some streets at all. After one hour search we parked at the Golden Gate Park, which is however quite far away from the city center. First we wanted to go up on the 41st floor of the Embacadero Center, where a skydeck with a view of S.F. was supposed to be. However, it turned out that there has already been no skydeck anymore for one year. Thus we went to Chinatown. We could not really enjoy it because we had just dropped the akku of the video camera, which annoyed us. At Pier 39 we visited the Aquarium Underwater World, which was very impressive and fascinating. You walk through transparent tubes and experience the underwater world from a diver´s perspective. The weather was clear and sunny, so that we would have liked to drive to the Golden Gate Bridge once again, but that would have been unnecessary stress. After an obligatory Clam Showder at Fisherman´s Wharf there was still the Lombard Street on our sightseeing plan, which is well-known by its numerous steep crooks. As conclusion of our stop in S.F. we wanted to go on a ride on the world-well-known and nostalgic Cable Car. Too bad that it was out of order, due to a broken cable. At about 5 p.m. we left the city over the Highway No.1 because we did not want to pay $46 for the campground again.