During our time in San Francisco we stayed with my family, Tom and Elizabeth. They made us very welcome and it was lovely to be able to stay in a nice house for a few days. They live out towards Berkeley and from their house there are some beautiful views out towards the bay.
San Francisco is a great place and I can imagine it would be a great place to live. On our first day we took a walk along the waterfront to Pier 39. At Pier 39 there is a number of touristy shops and nice restaurants. This is also where we had our first glimpse of Alcatraz. There is a colony of sea lions that live at Pier 39. We heard them before we saw them! What a noise they make!! We went round the corner and there they were all lying out squirming around and jumping in and out of the water. It was quite a sight!
We then took a walk around Fishermans Wharf where we tried a burger from In and Out Burger (we had previously been told to do so and were glad we did). We then took a ride on the cable cars up and down over the famous San Francisco hills.
The next day Tom dropped us off in Berkeley. We took a look around the university campus. Everyone was wearing the cal attire, hoodies, jackets, hats or tshirts. It seems to be big in America to wear your university name. We also took a walk around downtown Berkeley.
The following day we took a boat over to Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a small island in the bay that was turned into a prison. We had an audio guide tour to take us around. It was really interesting and a very well constructed tour. Over the audio guide the voices of prisoners came across. It was almost like you were actually in a prison.
Back on the mainland we took a bus over to the Golden Gate Bridge. I have seen it so many time from images on tv so it was really strange to be seeing it in person. We walked halfway over and took lots of pictures. From the bridge we could see lots of kitesurfers on the bay and some sea lions swimming below.
We had dinner in Chinatown that night then afterwards were driven down Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world.
There was a lot to see in San Francisco and it was nice to see family too.