Saturday, 7 July 2007
I left my heart in San Francisco. Well, the blogging part of my heart.
Well there it is the last blog that I will do for a while. I am going to hit the big 40 with more gusto than a gusty gust, but still it is practically impossible for me to continue these on over the course of the coming 3 weeks. There will be a brief update in New York, but expect it to be brief as I am in New York and there is not really that much of a temptation to lock myself into a room to write to you greedy monkeys. However much you are greedy, you are also love able monkeys - monkeys that, when I am in New York, I will be very close to coming home to a fact that, in no doubt, I will become as excited as a monkey.
At the moment I am sitting in a proper 'Internet Cafe' well, its pretty much a Cafe with 2 computer for Internet users, so the cafe is the more dominant. I don't know what street I am on, and I'm sure its going to be a long walk (in some direction, I will find out in a jiffy I'm sure) to get back to the hostel. I guess I need a fairly good sleep tonight as well - I'm meeting the tour people tomorrow at 8. Don't you just LOVE early mornings...
I will just jump straight into my activities today, if you dont mind. It was the same wake up that I have told you about before, the pancakes were still free, although still in there less impressive and infinitely less tasty liquid state. I think I did quite a good job at the old flat cakes today - well, at least they were edible, that's all I was proud at. I drowned them again in maple syrup. Perfic. Today I chatted and helped (I have done it again, is there a Helping Noble prize? Its mine I tell ye!) a Chinese guy whilst monitoring my pancakes. I'm, once again, a good lad!
After filling my face I headed down to the stop I got off the sightseeing bus yesterday. I finished off the route back up to Fisherman's Wharf so that I got the whole of the 'Downtown Loop'. The second half of the tour wasn't really that impressive. The stuff that I saw today I had already seen parts of on the previous part of the tour. Ho Hum, I needed to get back to the wharf so that I could secure a trip to Alcatraz. The first ticket guy I asked said that the tour was going to cost $85. NO THANK YOU! I walked about 2 mins up the road and managed to get the same tour for $55. It is still pretty expensive, but it was the cheapest I could find it after walking around for a bit so I went for it. I definitely wanted to get over there, so it was fine by me. I met some guy at the ticket stand, we both had to wait around for the main boss man to come along with the tickets, and we talked about random stuff. It was funny because he was the guy that I was standing in front of when waiting to board the ferry and we kept bumping into each other all over the island. Good times, if you were here you would find it hilarious too... There was, actually, quite a funny guy that works on the sea front. Well, I say work - its really just a clever beggar. What he does is get a couple of branches from a tree and sits on the sidewalk pretending to be a bush. As people walk by they don't really pay much attention to him and he jumps out at them. Some of the frightened reactions were classic! Again, good times. I once tried to get a sneaky photo of him, but he saw me poised with the camera and he said that I had to make a donation to take a photo of him. I didn't bother. I got the photo later anyway.
After I bought the tickets I went over to get a tour on a little boat around under the Golden Gate Bridge, it was still real foggy - but I had to get over there sometime, and I took way too many photos. Then we headed around Alcatraz island and again I took photos even though I knew I was going to be back there again. It was a nice little tour and it was good to get away from the hustle and bustle. I got back to San Fran and did a little shopping. I got a T-Shirt, just because I had too, and later on in the day I bought some Levi's. They were only $40 which is near enough 20 pounds. In England you would be lucky to get them for 40 pounds right? So I'm happy with them and I think I will need them some point in my travels. Obviously not when I'm going through the desert, but sometime, when the time is right I will whip out the jeans and all around me will look in in envy and awe.
I cant really remember what happened after that, I think I just got some food and because time was getting on just had a little wander up and down pier 39 - it was, once again, awesome - and then kept going down the bay to pier 33 to wait in line to board the Alcatraz ferry. It was awesome going over there, and a little creepy really because all those notorious criminals had wandered along the path I was taking: Al Capone, 'The Birdman' - No matter whatever anyone tells me 'The Birdman' conjures up Big Bird from Sesame Street and many other dastardly men. At one point I was leaning on a wall and I was thinking about all the other people that had lent there, both tourists, criminals and prison guards. It was quite a humbling thought. When we got up to the cell house you are given some head phones and you are led about the place with them in your ear giving you there insights and alcatrazy facts. It was all good and I have learnt alot of words and stuff. Yeah. My English is bettering. I took plenty of photos and right now they are crawling onto the Internet. They are crawling because I cant install the uploader thing on this computer, and so I have to upload the photos onto facebook 6 at a time. I only have 24 mins left and I'm trying to finish the blog and get those up. I don't want to stop the blog half way though as I will loose my rhythmical flow. Yes, deep in my head there is some kind of flow, its just that sometimes it goes through the ramble filter which mucks it all up. Like I said there are photos going up, so just hold onto your horses and you will be able to understand more about my day from them.
After alcatraz I was feeling a bit peckish again so I popped into old faithful Maccy D's and got myself a McFlurry - Oreo flavour! They even have a choice of size in the McFlurrys! Naturally I went for a large one, I'm a real man who needs real big food. The haircut guy yesterday told me to go visit Coit Tower, so that is what I did. I stumbled around the back streets for a bit until I found the steps that lead up the hill to the tower. When I got to the top I wasn't really that impressed with the view, there were loads of trees around the summit so you couldn't really look that far. I was about to go down the steps again when I realised I was at the back of the tower, I went around the front and found that you could go up the tower! I went for it and from the top the views over San Francisco were amazing! It was a little foggy, and my camera battery died pretty soon after my ascent, but I got a couple of snaps up there! I came down and remembered I saw 'City Lights Bookstore' on the bus coming into the Wharf. This is an extremely famous bookstore that my amazing sister told me I should stop at. I did as I was told because I don't want her to beat me up when I get home, I'm going camping with her without Mum and Dad - so there is a huge opening there for her to get her own back on me... I went in and started talking to some man in there about a message written on the door. It simply said "I am the door". This man commented it should be "I am a door" as 'the door' implies there is only one, that, perhaps, it is more superior than the other doors. I sort of politely laughed and agreed and that was it, I was sucked into a conversation. He was a very bright man and so I did like talking to him, its just that I popped in to have a quick look around, and now I was having a lecture... oh well. After that store I asked someone for directions to the nearest Internet Cafe and the day comes right up to date.
Its the first time I have been able to get a pic of the day up for a while, so there you go. A nice little view of Alcatraz Island with a couple of fishermen. I haven't got you a song of the day, mostly because not one single song stood out to me. I'm afraid I am horribly unprepared for this blog, and it feels a bit rushed as I only have 9.41 mins left. If I forced out a song of the day it would be a bit laboured - its better when they just come naturally to you.
So that's the end really, I have nothing more to say, nor any energy to conjure up some thinky thoughts that are locked away in my mind. You may have guessed but again I am extremely tired and not really looking forward to the walk back to the hostel, but it is something I have to do - so I have to stop moaning.
Thank you so much to the people that have been regularly reading this scrap book of the mind of Phil. It was for you guys that I am writing it. Well, obviously really - I wouldn't really be writing it for someone else because there wouldn't really be much point.
Until I write to you again goodbye and like many times before: