Today is my last day in San Francisco and it has been a really great stay. Highlights have been visting Yosemite National Park and cycling the Golden Gate Bridge! Yosemite is an amazing place - the views are incredible. I went on a 2 day, 2 night tour organised by the hostel. We arrived in time for lunch on Monday before spending the afternoon moutain biking down a 3 mile trail. It was great fun. The evening was spent relaxing in the hostel's hot tub - that's budget travel for you! lol. Tuesday was our day in the park. We went on 3 different hikes - the first a steep climb next to a waterfall, the second to the top of sentinal dome and the third amongst giant sequoia trees. Each hike was different but my favourite was the second one - the 360 degree view at the top was supberb. We also stopped to take a few photo's during the drive around the park. Yosemite valley is incredible! I met some cool people on the trip as well - 3 Germans, 2 Aussie's and 3 other Brit's. We're going out with the Germans tonight for one of their birthday's!
The other highligh of my stay in San Francisco was cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Marin County to a little bay-side village called Sausilito. The ride along the water front from the bike store to the bridge was cool, but cycling the bridge gave some really good views back across the bay to San Francisco and Alcatraz. But it was the countryside on the other side of the bridge that was the best - so beautiful. I cycled down the hills to Sausilito, a small quite touristy place but very Mediterranean in style. All in all it was a great ride and a great day.
I also took in a visit to Alcatraz which was well worth it. The audio guide was very interesting, and some cell doors were open so you can go inside the cells and feel what it's like on the other side! It was strange walking around knowing someone like Al Capone had stayed there!
San Francisco, I found, has more to offer though than 'just' the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Pier 39 is a shopping and food area complete with Sea Lions. Fisherman's Wharf has some great little shops along the waterfront. Chinatown is incredible - the moment you walk under the gate it feels like a completly different country! Of course I also rode the cable cars (trams) which were a welcome change from walking up and down all of San Francisco's steep streets! To top off my visit the weather has been fantastic!
In closing, I would recommend anyone visting California not to miss out on staying in San Francisco!