The Hollywood Boulevard exudes charm because not as one might think.
On the way from Monterey to Anaheim we made a short stop in Hollywood and on Hollywood Boulevard. We want to go the next day to the Universal Studios and for that we had bought the Go LA Card online. This card you can pick up at two locations, one of that was the Hollywood and Highland Mall right next to the Dolby Theatre. So we exit the traffic jam on the highway and had the next traffic jam on the short way to the Dolby Theatre.
But we also have survived this and have parked directly under the Dolby Theatre. I had been there in 2009 and knew what to expect. It has not much in common with the glamor of Hollywood. Once you go into a side street, the experience is something completely different. The Hollywood Boulevard is still OK, but again, you realize that something is wrong. There is no corner where I would stop by long. Everything full of tourists, dirty and the locals are not all so reassuring.
Of course, the Mall and also the Dolby Theatre is well maintained, but all in all I do not have to visit this area again. So we have picked up in the mall the tickets and after that we go a few meters up and down Hollywood Boulevard. In the souvenir shop with the great name of La La Land, we even found German confectionery. The price I unfortunately do not remember, but it was extremely expensive.
This part of the city did not convince me, even after my 2nd visit. On my next visit I spend more time in San Francisco.
Alcatraz Island was formerly one of the most secure prisons in the world.
On our last day in San Francisco, Alcatraz Island was early in the morning on our schedule. Directly at 8.45 AM we went over with the first ship. You should be at the perth definitely in the time frame printet on the tickets. Before Boarding you have to pass a small bag Check and a Photo Spot.
The tickets should be bought before traveling already online, then you have the least stress. When you go to San Francisco in the season, it can be really busy and maybe you do not get a ticket for the desired day.
Arriving at Alcatraz, there is first a small briefing and then you have to go up the hill to get into the buildings.
An audio guide, which you get at the entrance of the building, is included in the entrance fee. This can be set to different languages and you can explore Alcatraz at your own pace.
You can be flexibly with the return trip by ferry. Once you’re done, you go back to the ferry terminal and can go back with the next boat.
Anyone who is a bit interested in history, should definitely visit Alcatraz. Admission is indeed with 39 $ not quite as low, but the offered audio tour is really well done and even be on this island with this history was something special.
Because the whole atmosphere comes better, I made the pictures almost entirely in black and white.
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Also there is some Alcatraz on YouTube:
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After 11.5 hour flight we were „already“ in San Francisco. As you have already read, we came with an A380 from Lufthansa directly from Frankfurt to San Francisco. The „already“ is meant seriously, because a flight in business class went by way too fast. Here you can read it again.
Now continue with San Francisco. We had in the holiday a very tight schedule, so that only the arrival day and the following two days were scheduled for San Francisco. Unfortunately, we must reduce or withdraw the vacation, that time is simply too short.
For me it was after 2009, the second visit to San Francisco, my wife was the first time on the West Coast and in San Francisco. To make it short, San Francisco was still as great as I had remembered it.
After a successful landing we had to go through the usual procedure. Get luggage, Immigration, Customs, Car Rental. That with the suitcases is as a Business Class passenger again an enormous advantage, because the preferential treatment and the luggage comes first. So we went with our luggage in the direction of Immigration. Here you plan 2 hours, so that you can be happy if it takes only 1.5 hours. The system in San Francisco was only a little confusing. First was divided by americans and the rest, as always actually knits. However, the queue for the rest was already completely full and our flight was just coming. So they announced that people who already traveled to the US can use also the queue for citizens.
This queue getting also full, what the waiting americans angered after all, which are not used to wait at passport control 🙂 The waiting period remained but within limits and soon we where able to read at an machine our passports itself and also the fingerprints and take the picture. Then you got a printout with which it then proceeded to an official. He has controlled everything, asked the usual questions and made the stamp in the passport. Done. After that you past the customs and you are in the US.
Following is was called again wait in line for the car rental. After the usual refuse of the supplementary and the offers on an upgrade we could choose a car. Bad that there have in San Francisco really small cars. So we had only a Mazda 2, which would indeed have been ok, but with all the luggage was a little small. Kindly an american beside us has decided to upgrade, because his Ford Focus was to small. Lucky for us, we were able to take the focus.
So now the holidays begin. The car was then 16 days and about 5000 km our faithful companion. Now and then he was a bit bitchy witch the air conditioning, but otherwise make a reliable service.
The first stop in the United States is always a WalMart, stock up again complete with the most. From shampoo, deodorant, drinks and chips through to the cooler. This cooler was one of the best investments of the trip. A fridge was rarely in the motel rooms, and with a couple of ice cubes we had our own wherever you go.
The first day we decided to go after shopping into town for something to eat and take a walk along the water. From the traffic is not really great to drive in San Francisco, and the parking is also not the cheapest.
The remaining two days we are always drove from our hotel in Daly City with the BART into the city, which was very easy and a lot more comfortable than by car. Priced anyway the best alternative.
In the two days we did some sightseeing with the double-decker bus and looked at the usual corners of the city. With the weather we were really lucky, it was actually sunny and you could be on the road in short clothes. We were able to experience the Golden Gate Bridge in sunshine and in fog, what more could you get 🙂
I personally like San Francisco very much. There are so many different corners of the city, who look different again. From the large, green park right up to the beach, or the city with the skyscrapers in contrast to the small houses in victorian style. I think San Francisco offers something for everyone and with a sightseeing tour you can cover it all very well.
Unfortunately, it has not fit in our schedule to visit Sausalito or to drive the Muir Woods. We have approached the whole quite relaxed and have picked „our“ highlights out.
The with tourists overcrowded Pier 39 and the local sea lions, as well as the area around Fisherman’s Warf. There you can find great restaurants that unfortunately have a tourist surcharge in prices.
Of course, no tourist will miss the lombard street with its many curves. Likewise, we were picking up some chocolate at Ghiradelli and eat delicious bread at Boudin.
The Cable Car ride, we have skipped. Firstly, the price is quite steep and on the other one the queue is there to last forever. The time we finally be able to invest better elsewhere.
In San Francisco there are so many restaurants, so difficult to make a decision. At the beginning we visit a not typical restaurant of San Francisco, the Rainforest Cafe, which simply belongs with us to a holiday in the USA.
The wheat sourdough bread at Boudin is super. With different versions and additions they have been there a very good selection and the animals that they are baking out of bread are a total eye-catcher. Once we were there for lunch in the restaurant of Bourdin and even there it was very tasty.
On the second day we went in the morning with the first boat over to Alcatraz and took a look at the famous prison island. Tomorrow you get here a bit more text and also some great pictures about Alcatraz.
The city has so much to offer and the days passed around like nothing. In retrospect, the two days were of course much too little, but we wanted to take also the Highway 1 and therefore had to cancel one day.
As already mentioned, we are quite relaxed most of the time, went by bus around and have just enjoyed.
Who wants to watch the images without clicking, check this on Youtube:
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