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Published: December 25th 2010
it's vacation again and this time I chose for the United States. I was considering between Mexico, Brazil and USA but I finally did USA. Brazil was my favourite to choose but ticket prices went up and I didn't find it affordable anymore. Mexico I skipped because a friend in Mexico City was leaving town himself for christmas. So both Mexico and Brazil can wait for a next time. Flight to San Francisco.
From Curacao with American Airlines the ticket would have been way too expensive, so I decided to go via Aruba. I flew with DAE to Aruba, spent a night there and then flew Continental, via Houston, to San Francisco. In Aruba, Ralph's mom picked me up and brought me to Oranjestad where I ate and wandered around. Later she picked me up and we went to the airport to pick-up Josue. The next day they brought me to the airport.
The flight departed from Aruba with 1 hour delay, while I'd only have 55 minutes between the two flights in Houston. The flight would arrive at 19:55 and my next flight would leave at 20:50. The duration of the Aruba-Houston flight was about
4,5 hours. We landed in Houston at 20:45, once at the gate we had to "run" to the other gate, where the flight to San Francisco was ready to depart. This flight departed with 30 min. delay and even so they weren't able to transfer the luggage to this aircraft. Continental Airlines, like all other American airlines (if I'm not wrong) don't give free food anymore!!! You have to pay, and only credit cards are accepted! There is more!. Once I boarded in Aruba, I took the menu-card to look what you can buy. Later when we were flying, I wanted to order and the lady said they had only snacks left!!! WTF! She said: "We run out of food while flying towards Aruba". Yeah, but that's not my problem! You guys KNEW you had to fly back to Houston so why didn't you stock enough food for the way back too? The only free stuff they give are some shitty pretzels and drinks (juice, soda, water). I didn't have another choice than to buy a snack-box for $6. After the 4,5 hour flight, I had to transfer immediately so no chance to buy food at the airport either....then to
board another flight were they only gave some mini-pretzels. Even for the earphones to listen to music you have to pay ($3), things that used to be free on flights. Many airlines now even charge to check-in! What's going on? Things that are supposed to be part of the service, now you have to pay for. Anyway, once in San Francisco I waited for my bag which didn't come so I had to spend extra time at the airport to fill in a form etc. and the next day they brought my bag to the hostel. Now I understand why any airline from the USA could never, ever be classified as the best airline in the world. These titles will remain in Asia and the Middle East. San Francisco
San Francisco lies at the Pacific coast in Central California and has almost a million people. It's famously known for it's Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz prison. It lies at the San Francisco Bay area, know as just the Bay Area. It's a very active area for earthquakes, the last two strongest ones were in 1906 and 1989. The whole area around the bay is home to almost
7 million people.
After arriving, I went out of the airport, took bus 292 to Mission Street/6th street and walked to the hostel. It was around 2:00am. The first thing that caught my attention was the amount of homeless people on the street. They're ALL over in this city, everywhere! I got to the hostel, paid and went to bed. It's 4 hours earlier than Curaçao so I was obviously very tired. The next day I had breakfast in the hostel, went on internet a little bit, then left to AT&T Park
, the stadium of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. I went with a Spanish roommate. First I bought some stuff in their store, then we went out and it was raining. So we went for a coffee/tea while it stopped raining, then I took the stadium tour and the Spanish guy went somewhere else. The tour through the stadium was great and very interesting. Giants won the 2010 World Series, for those who don't know 😉 . Hensley Meulens from Curaçao is a batting-coach for the Giants. The stadium is big and beautiful, near the edge of the water. Giants used to play in New York first
and then moved to San Francisco. I spent at least 2 to 2,5 hours here. Afterwards I had lunch somewhere, then went exploring the downtown around the famous Union Square
area where they have a big christmas tree and an ice-skating track in front. This area was very busy. In this area I did some shopping too, buying some clothes and shoes at a good price! Later I boarded a cable car and went all the way to the Fisherman's Wharf
. These cable cars are very typical for San Francisco; they go all the way up the hill and then go back down. Fisherman's Wharf is a well-known area of San Francisco with a lot of entertainment, shops and restaurants offering primarily seafood of course 😉 . There are many piers, each with their own number with Pier 39 being one of the most popular. From this area you can take ferries and also boat trips in the Bay Area and to Alcatraz Island.
The Golden Gate Bridge
was truly impressive!!! I loved it, it's just huge and impressive! I took two different buses to get there. Once there I walked over the bridge until the first tower. It
took them 4 years to build the bridge and it was completed in 1937. It has six traffic lanes. For that time, the bridge was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) steel construction made! I drove over the bridge on my way to Muir Woods
, a national park (national monument) located north of San Francisco consisting of primarily giant, sequoia trees (redwood), some of them being 200 years old! It's a beautiful forest, with a creek running through. The creek had a lot of water due to recent rainfall. After having a walk across the park, the tour continued to Sausalito
. It's a small, charming city with less than 10.000 people located at the shore of the Bay. From Sausalito you can see San Francisco on the other side. It's an expensive place to live. Here I had fish & chips, which made me feel very sick for the two hours afterwards. I got allergy, first headache, then I started sneezing and felt pain on my chest and I also had to caught a lot. While this all was happening, I was on my way to Pier 33 to board the Alcatraz ferry. On board I felt the
worse, absolutely horrible and I think I'm done with most seafood now! I will never have fried fish again. On Alcatraz Island
my body slowly recovered and I could enjoy the island without a problem. The island is small and the prison operated from 1934 to 1963 as a Federal Prison. Prior to this, the island was also used as military prison, since 1860's. The island is now a landmark that attracts many visitors everyday. You get an audio tour through the main building which was very interesting. There are more buildings outside, including a power plant, a water tower, industries building a.o. Native American indians occupied the island from 1969 to 1971, claiming it as their land. Another unique spot in San Francisco that I've seen was the crooked street / Lombard Street
After all I enjoyed my stay in the city. Again I met several other people at the hostel, including Nicola, an American woman who travelled a lot too and actually visited Curacao and loved it!!! San Francisco is surely worth visiting, I wish I had at least one more day to spend there. I really wanted to go to Yosemite N.P but the time was
too short and besides it ha been snowing a lot in the mountains. It leaves me with a reason to come back one day in the future around here.
Next is going to be Los Angeles!
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