October 27th - November 4th 2012, San Francisco ...

Probably the last chance for a family holiday we planned this week in San Francisco some months ago ... it is a fantastic city, we had wonderful weather and enjoyed it all a lot!
 

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So after a flight via Seattle - where we had to run to catch our flight to SF, we arrived in San Francisco ... started Saturday morning, arrived Saturday afternoon ... and this was the view from the plane, just before landing ... Golden Gate Bridge ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and here another view of the Bridge, Alcatraz (middle right) and the city.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We took a shuttle to our hotel ... and passed this strange building on 6th street ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We arrived safely @ our hotel (great, just one block away from Union Square) ... and had the first welcome drinks in the bar ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... later we went out ... had a first look at Union Square ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and found this - honest - guy ... his honesty was rewarded!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We followed the recommendation of the concierge and had a lovely dinner at a steak house restaurant close by.

City Walking Tour

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After a short night (jet lag) we had - like all days - our breakfast at Starbuckets ... the only barely bloody drinkable in the US that is barely drinkable ;-) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). On day one, we booked a 4,5 hours walking tour through SF ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... with a lovely guy called Anton. Fantastic tour, really good stories and - best of all - just 7 people max! So besides us there was just another couple! We can really recommend him ... if you're interested have a look at www.urbantrekusa.com ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we walked through San Francisco ... saw that funny Sushi Place ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and of course Chinatown, where one of the oldest buildings is.
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We crossed the cable cars backwards and forwards ... what was really amazing for us ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... was the steepness of the streets ... doesn't matter if you walk or drive (see below) ... it's REALLY steep!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Men in parks ... around Chinatown ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and one of the landmarks in San Francisco ... the Transamerica Pyramid ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Due to the crisis a lot of homeless people and beggars were on the street ... this guy obviously didn't read the sign ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Many more old buildings ... here one with beautiful paintings ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). And finally - taken from the Coit Tower - the view of the Golden Gate Bridge! What a weather! Around 20 degrees and no clouds!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here all of us up at the Coit Tower ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... where you also find a statue of Columbus ... here the x-rated-version ;-))) .... it's his finger ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Here the Coit Tower ... we're continuing our tour downhill to the Pier ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). This is actually an official street ... more or less stairs down to the Pier ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So the tour finished and we took the tram to Fisherman's Wharf ... here a seafood restaurant ... "if it swims, we have it" ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After so much walking, we went into a bar to have some drinks ... no alcohol without an ID ... guns wouldn't have been a big problem we guess ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Next day we took the cable car to walk a bit more ... here in action ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and stopped at the windiest road, Lombard Street ... later we drove it down as well ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and stopped at the windiest road, Lombard Street ... later we drove it down as well ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and came across this fire truck ... really nice people there ... and as you can guess, we have a photo of everyone in front of the truck with the helmet on ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Back to Fisherman's Wharf we visited Pier 39 with the sea lions ... very loud and smelly ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... here four women holding their breath ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We jumped on the next tram we could get ... and where was it from? Melbourne!!!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). They use a lot of different trams from all over ... and we caught this one!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). For lunch we went to a Dim Sum Place that our guide had recommended ... was really nice, yum!

Alcatraz

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Germans as we are ;-) we pre-booked our Alcatraz trip ... we actually booked the "night tour" ... here on the boat on the way with SF behind us ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and it turned out that it would be a foggy night, that made everything even more spooky ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). The tour was great ... here the outside yard of the prisoners ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). It was closed in 1963 and you can only imagine how it must have been there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So it got dark, foggy and really spooky ... here the four girls with the prison as a background ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). You can hardly see the ferry in the picture ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). The nasty thing about Alcatraz is, that you're surrounded by the city, it seems very close but you cannot get there ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we went back and saw SF @ night ... on the right the Coit Tower ...

Tour around by car

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Tuesday we had a car hired to tour around SF ... and being in America, Thomas hired a real dick extension ... big, cheap and its motor hardly pulled the sausage off the plate (as we say in German) ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we drove North, unfortunately very foggy, so we continued straight to ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock's movie "Birds" was made ... and had lunch in the restaurant "The Tides", where a lot of scenes were filmed ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We also took the road that Tippi Hedren drove with her convertible in the movie ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... to arrive at the school building, where the first bird attack happened ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We continued our tour to the Napa Valley, where we stopped at a winery for a wine tasting ... the wine was really good, so two bottles came back to Germany!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). Driving back to SF we crossed the Bay Bridge in the fog ... a really good photo taken by Claudia in the car.

Shopping / Last days / Tour to Golden Gate Bridge by car

Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We had more walks in SF; here the famous houses in Alamo with the skyline in the background ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and on to the old "hippie" quarters, Haight Ashbury, but unfortunately it lives off its history ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and the truth is in our point of view, that a lot of "dubious" elements are around there ... we left asap ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). After dinner we had some prosecco in the hotel to be prepared for the next day, where ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... Thomas achieved a new world record: 7,5 hours shopping with four women! We drove South to an Outlet Centre and this photo was the result! Nice story when we picked up the hirecar ... Thomas booked a normal limousine; when the lady at the counter heard that 4 women went shopping one full day, she said "I'll upgrade you to an SUV, you need a bigger car!"
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). As Friday was another beautiful day, we decided on short notice, that we get a car again to make some photos of the bridge ... here the five of us in front of it ... again hardly any clouds ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and the two of us ... the hands are for the joggers to touch, then turn around and run back. At the bottom they also installed two paws for the joggers with dogs ;-)
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We drove over the bridge to drive up ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... the hill to take pictures like this!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). We drove back, including Lombard Street, where we had another lovely view to Alcatraz ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and had our last dinner, again at the fantastic seafood restaurant "Alioto's" at Fisherman's Wharf ... superb food and wine!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So we took the cable car back, here manually turned around at the turntable ...
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). ... and got the seats at the outside, that's just fantastic!
Bild in Lightbox öffnen (open image in lightbox). So on our last day, we walked around a bit more, hat more dim sum for lunch, took another photo of Alcatraz and - in the afternoon - made our way back to the Airport.

So after a good flight back via Munich we arrived safely in Germany. We have to say, San Francisco is a fantastic city and we enjoyed every of our 7 days there!!!