Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WorldCon 2011 -- San Francisco Days 3 and 4

...still doesn't feel like America. Especially now that I've been through three days of foreign accents and foreign languages. I realize that San Francisco and the bay area is a major tourist destination for travelers from all over the world -- and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge did help to solidify that, yes, this is San Francisco, California, America -- and that most people in the world do not speak English. I learned this definitively during my Europe travels (which, for those who are wondering, I will return to chronicling soon). But still...it makes this whole trip continue to feel vaguely foreign.

Oh, yeah, and then everywhere around here has vaguely Spanish-sounding names. San Francisco. San Rafael. Point Reyes. Sausalito. Tiburon. Corte Madera. El Cerrito. El Sobrante. Pinole. Etc.

For a Midwesterner like me, where everything is either vaguely French, vaguely German, vaguely Native American, and all very mish-mashed...yeah, it feels a bit foreign.

But I already talked about that last time and I don't really want to occupy your time with these semi-ignorant sentiments.

So, let us commence with the pictures!

Yesterday we went into San Francisco, crossing over the Golden
Gate Bridge (and paying the toll fee for entrance) of course.

Once in the city, we nearly killed ourselves driving down
the famous, steep, multi-tiered hills of San Francisco.

A view from the bottom; note, we are not dead in this picture.

We picked up bikes in Fisherman's Wharf and rode toward the bridge
(yes, I know we just crossed it). As a side note, it took the entire day
for the clouds to clear from over the pylons.

Alcatraz Island. Sorry about the blurry quality, this is what I get for
using the pictures off my phone. Unfortunately, we didn't get to go
to the island itself, but we managed to get a lot of great pics.

Told you it would clear. Those hills/mountains on the far side of the bridge
(so, the not-SanFran side) fascinated me all throughout the day.
I never could get a good picture of them that really captured
the wonder I felt when looking upon them.

Biking across this thing was insane. It wasn't too busy, but the combination of construction, tourists taking pictures, competitive bikers plowing everyone else out of their way, and the ridiculously small area that the engineers had decided to name "the bike lane," things became a bit...tense at times.

The town of Sausalito from above. After reaching the far side of the bay,
we had to bike down to Sausalito to take a ferry back across to Fisherman's Wharf.

Today we drove out to Point Reyes National Coastline. It sits on
a peninsula that juts 10 miles out into the Pacific Ocean.

...and because of this, they built a lighthouse on the furthest point of the cliffside.
A lighthouse that we naturally decided to climb down to.
You would not believe how windy it was.

Old...and out of commission. But...

This is a whale skull. It is, perhaps, the weirdest-looking
relic of a living creature that I have ever seen.

After visiting the lighthouse, we decided to drive down to the Pacific beach.
It was very lonely and serene. Which was perfect.
That's it for the fun stuff; now it's work time. WorldCon begins on Wednesday, so we're returning to Reno tomorrow afternoon/evening. The reports for the rest of the week will no doubt be filled with geeky fanfare, excited insights, new scraps of knowledge, and more.

For now, though, I need to get ready for the rest of the week (and then school after that).

1 comment:

  1. Pretty:)
    I know the landscape must have been enormously more impressive in person than can be conveyed by photos, but it's still pretty impressive from here.