After attending a Couch Surfing event last night, I got started a little later than I had planned. But I got to meet a couple of great new people, and it was a good change from just going solo. Even with the later start though I think that I made a rather good use of my time today and got to see some great places.
De Young Museum Hamon Observation Tower
One of the better views of the city can be found at the de Young Museum Hamon Observation Tower. Due to the location of the building it only needs to be nine stories high. Considering the location itself is set at a high point within Golden Gate Park, just across from the Academy of Sciences.
California Academy of Sciences
To start the day I made a visit to the California Academy of Science. Unlike some of the other science centres that I have visited it does mix things up a little bit. There are the elements of not just a science museum, but also a planetarium, aquarium and a living rain forest. To be honest, they do more justice to all of them than some establishments do to just one.
There is a great range of hands-on science, to have a go at. However, it is not all about being hands on with plenty of information provided around the exhibits as well.
The California Academy of Sciences as you can see it from the observation deck at the de Yong Museum.
These guys are African Penguins, that do look a little different, but still cute.
The above exhibit is a rather boring one for most of the time, as it is just a pendulum swinging. However, it is said to be proof of the Earth’s rotation. Around each hour one of the small steel bars will be knocked down.
Golden Gate Bridge
From the Academy of Sciences, I caught the bus down towards the harbourside to get a look at the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, it is possibly the most recognisable thing about San Francisco. I did share an image of the bridge from my harbour cruise yesterday. But I figured why not share some more today from a different angle. Today I am on the southern side up high on the bluffs.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a rather fantastic piece of engineering. When you consider the construction start in the early 1930’s it is quite the feet. The southern or closer pier in the above image goes down 34 metres below the low water level. Into water that is tidal with the Pacific Ocean. Just some of the numbers that surround the construction of the bridge are amazing.
Palace of Fine Art
While the walk is quite a distance, I decided to walk from near the Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman’s Wharf. The route that I took was some 8.6 kilometre’s total with a few rather interesting stops along the way.
The first stop was at the Palace of Fine Arts, not too far from the Exploratorium. Which is a spot that I want to visit while in San Francisco, but just don’t have the time today. The Palace of Fine Arts is a group of columns with a dome on top. They are a remnant of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.
How would you like to live on the street known as the most crooked in the world? That is the title that Lombard Street in San Francisco holds. At least the section of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets anyway. There are a series of switchbacks to help with the impossible grade of the hill otherwise.
Getting a great picture is far from easy but consider this for a moment. There are a series of about 8 or 9 switchbacks over a distance of just 400 metres. Obviously doable, but not the easiest or most pleasurable of drives I would imagine.
If you are to continue along Lombard Street, the part that is not crooked anyway, you eventually reach Telegraph Hill. Right on top of Telegraph Hill is Coit Tower. Erected in 1933 with a bequest from Lillie Hitchcock Coit, to help beautify the city of San Francisco. The tower is a rather prominent feature on the skyline of the city. But the best bit for me was that you could pay a small amount to go to the top of the tower. Again giving some great city views just like the tower at the de Young Museum.
Although there are windows in place, people try and find the cracks to drop coins out. But I am not quite sure what the point behind this is, happy to capture the photo all the same.
San Francisco’s main city Skyline from the top of Coit Tower.
AngelaApril 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm
You saw a live rain forest in Washington, and do you know what it featured for you!?! Rain 😉
Good to see your photos, miss you, have fun on the next leg of your trip. <3
Alcatraz looks like it was fun. Did they do a lot of history talking when you were on the tour or anything like that?
JoelApril 12, 2011 at 2:11 am
Yeah the real rainforest, with the genuine rain was better 🙂
The Alcatraz tour was a 45 minute audio tour, which went through the cell block, and told you a bit about the history.
You really would love the hills in San Francisco, really give your legs a work out.
Liz IrvineApril 21, 2011 at 1:24 am
Fantastic stuff babe… you are seeing so much I am really envious mate. Enjoy.