MAINLAND USA

Been Around The World And I, I ....... I

 

Algonquin Provincial Park

The next day we went into Algonquin Provincial Park and it was great to be out in the countryside again. We spent the day in the park taking various walking trails and looking for bears, we didn't see any bears, but it was a lovely sunny day and we saw some awesome dams created by beavers.

After taking a look at the map book that night we ruled out going any further into Canada as we have to back in Boston in a few days for our flight to Heathrow. The next day we crossed back in to America, which took a long time as they decided to search our car and make us fill various forms out while they questioned us over how many stamps we had in our passport and in particular were concerned that we had three visas into Cambodia over such a short space of time. Once we'd satisfied the customs officials, we were on our way again and we headed down into Adirondack Park.

Escape To Alcatraz

The Isalnd Of Alcatraz

Golden Gate Bridge, City Hall and Alcatraz were on the menu yesterday. We visited Golden Gate Bridge and City Hall in the morning before taking a ferry across to Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a small, isolated island off the coast of San Francisco, probably most famous as being the former federal prison for notorious criminals such as Al Capone and Robert 'the birdman' Stroud. Between the years of 1933 and 1963 it was used as a maximum security prison, but today it is open to tourists to look around. You can get an audio guide tour for more information as you walk around, which we did and I have to say that the audio was really good, some of it being narrated by former guards and inmates. The sound affects were brilliant and with the footsteps, clanks of the prison cell doors and chants from inmates, it was easy to become immersed in the commentary. In fact, so immersed was I in it that I nearly jumped out of my skin when I was listening to gun shots go off during some narrative about an escape attempt and a random tourist accidentally trod on the back of my foot!!! We are here when it's warm and I tried to imagine what life would have been like out here in winter during those days, I imagine it would have been a bleak, harsh and unforgiving place. Back on the mainland we went to a Moroccan restaurant for dinner, which turned out to be absolutely mouthwatering.

Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco

San Francisco has been a bit of a pleasant surprise to me, it's well recorded that I'm not a city person and this stop was, once again, a means of breaking up the flying time towards England. I expected it to be a bit like New York, but it's nowhere near as busy, built up or claustrophobic and has far more character for me.

Yesterday we ended up arriving here at night, so we pretty much just ordered a pizza from a nearby takeaway and went to bed. Today we got a map of the city and started out in the direction of Chinatown. After walking around for a while we planted ourselves at a table in a restaurant and had a delicious Chinese lunch before continuing our walk along into the Italian part of San Francisco. After some time sitting outside a café drinking latte and watching the world go by we made our way down to Fisherman’s Wharf where we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening watching the sea lions that gather at Pier 39, taking a look round USS Pampanito and generally wandering around the wharf.

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