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San Francisco: New, Best, Different?!!?


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Hope you do not mind sharing our experiences and love for San Francisco. Lots has changed since our last visit. BUT, much is still the same classic style and architecture.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 215,584 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

Here are four pictures as we were arriving in mid March on the Island Princess in San Francisco. First, it was dark and before sunrise as we were up early as we approached and went under the famed Golden Gate Bridge. Plus, it was very foggy, too!! Could barely see the lights on this bridge. We, however, loved the excitement in approaching and seeing this iconic symbol for the Bay area.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

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Before the sun had risen in San Francisco, here was our ship approaching Dock 27 with the official lighted sign there where we would be ending our cruise.:

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As we were getting ready to depart the ship, here is the view from the ship with nearby landmark Coit Tower being seen on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. The other picture shows the special equipment the port had here to move and unload the large amount of luggage from our arriving ship. Long reach with this equipment and a special net in place to keep suitcase from slipping and going in the water.:

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ALCATRAZ??!! Yes, that is the start for this grouping of pictures and details. This is a location famous in history. Why? It holds a unique and scenic spot in San Francisco Bay. Plus, lots of movies and media attention have been focused on its prisoners, escape attempts, etc.

 

Per Wikipedia and other sources, here are a few "info items" for Alcatraz. Located 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco, this small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification and a military prison (1868). It was a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Native Americans as a part of a wave of public protests through the 1970's. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Today, the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

 

Its name goes back to the original Spanish explorers who gave it a description that roughly translates as "The Island of the Pelicans". Much of its early history involves the end of the Mexican–American War, at the startt of the California Gold Rush and its military preparation during the American Civil War. Although Alcatraz never fired its guns offensively, during the Civil War it was used to imprison Confederate sympathizers and privateers on the west coast.

 

We departed from Pier 33, near Fisherman's Wharf. That departure places has a nice collection of historic items on Alcatraz and an excellent scale model of the island, explain the uses for the many buildings on this site. Alcatraz is the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States and has an interesting seabird colony (mostly western gulls, cormorants, and egrets). According to a 1971 documentary on the history of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675' by 590' and is 135' at highest point during mean tide. The total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres.

 

Get your tickets in advance!! Fortunately we did! When we were there on a Wednesday in mid March, no tickets were available until Saturday. As the tourism season ramps up in later Spring, Summer and Fall, the advance "sell-outs" become even more challenging. This is a very popular tour and there are limits on the numbers of spaces available. Do not assume you can just walk up and get a ticket. As I re-call, the cost was about $33 a person. Plan accordingly!!

 

Yes, the tour, cost and time are very much worth it!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 225,084 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

Unless you have a personal helicopter or are a super great swimmer in very cold water, the only way to reach Alcatraz Island is by boat. And, it is just the official tour boats that can deliver you there. Also, most important, "free" you from Alcatraz after your visit!! Other tour and sail boats can travel around the Bay, but they cannot deliver you to this island. Here is part of that view in approach and/or departing this famed island.:

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From the tour boat, coming to or going from Alcatraz, you might get a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge. But there can be fog and other limitations as to what kind of view you get. That bridge, as this photo shows, is long, spanning the 1.7 mile channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Frommer's calls it "possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world." It was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200'. At high tide, this bridge allows a passage space of 220' for ship to go under it. Its 80th "birthday" is coming up soon as this bridge official opened on May 27, 1937.:

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Alcatraz is much more than just one building. Here are some different views and angles on the approach and as you prepare to walk up to the top of what has been called "The Rock"!! You can see its lighthouse, main prisoner building at the top, water and guard towers, etc. Many of the staff lived in other buildings on this island.:

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Here is part two for the pictures and details from touring Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

 

Following the Civil War in 1866, the army determined that the fortifications and guns at Alcatraz were rendered obsolete by advances in military technology. The Army switched the focus of its plans for Alcatraz from coastal defense to detention. In 1868, Alcatraz was officially designated a long-term detention facility for military prisoners.

 

The island then became a Federal prison for civilians in August 1934. Alcatraz was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. Rehab was not the goal. It was security and punishment!! The first batch of 137 prisoners arrived from the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Most of the prisoners were bank robbers and murderers.

 

During the 29 years it was in use, Alcatraz held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, including Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the "Birdman of Alcatraz"), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. "Doc" Barker and James "Whitey" Bulger. Per Wikipedia, during its 29 years of operation, they claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts; 23 were caught alive, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as "missing and presumed drowned". The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946, when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the "Battle of Alcatraz" when the U.S. Marines had to come in to help restore order. On June 11, 1962, three prisoners carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised and that became the basis for the Clint Eastwood movie "Escape from Alcatraz". Did those three escape or drown? No one knows for sure!! Maybe they made it to South America? That is all part of the mystery and legend.

 

During our audio tour, they gave many details for these two famous incidents in Alcatraz history and you could see the actual cells and other historic details connected with those incidents. Very interesting and this audio tour made it all come "alive".

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.):

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 51,239 views for these postings.

 

The lighthouse is one of the key landmark parts of Alcatraz. Here is a view of that icon and part of the main prison building structure.:

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There are a large number of interesting flowers and birds on this island with its unique weather and winds. Here are some samples of that variety to prove that it is more than just being on or near a "prison".:

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Once inside the main building, we saw where prisoners got their clothing items, took showers and then we went upstairs to where we started our audio tour. That "tour guide" is an award-winning "production" that involves a series of interviews involving both staff and prisoners who were there on this island at the time when it was the famed Federal prison with many top-name "residents".:

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Ready for part three from Alcatraz and to see if we manage to "Escape" from this former Federal prison? Hint?? Yes, we were "freed" and allowed to return!! Sorry to disappoint anyone who thinks that I deserved to be locked up.

 

Its closing?? Because Alcatraz cost much more to operate than other prisons (at the time nearly $10 per prisoner per day, as opposed to $3 per prisoner per day at Atlanta), finances were a key factor. And half a century of salt water saturation had eroded the buildings. It was Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy who ordered the penitentiary closed on March 21, 1963. There was also the environmental factor of not having any sewage treatment facility for this island. Those wastes were released directly into San Francisco Bay from the approximately 250 inmates and 60 Bureau of Prisons families on the island. That year, the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, opened as the replacement facility for Alcatraz's "worst of the worst" prisoners. Later, a Federal "super max" prison was opened south of Colorado Springs in that mountain state.

 

For me, the most memorable film or media connection with this location was the 1979 movie "Escape from Alcatraz". This prison thriller film who directed by Don Siegel, who had teamed with Clint Eastwood for other famed movies, including "Dirty Harry", also set dramatically in San Francisco. This 1979 "Escape" movie reflected the 1962 prisoner escape by prisoners Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin. Patrick McGoohan played the suspicious, vindictive warden and Danny Glover appeared in his film debut.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 32,081 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

Here is a closer look inside one of the famous prisoner cell at Alcatraz. This cell was one of those used by a prisoner in 1962 who carved out a hole below the sink used in that famed escape attempt reflected in the 1979 Clint Eastwood movie. Everybody had a single cell. Not exactly a large area for each prisoner.:

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On the exterior of the main building at Alcatraz, here is the faded and weathered Administration Building lettering.:

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One of the prison cell areas we visited was the isolation area where you would go if there were problems and mis-behaving! Then, this is the view from inside this ultimate isolation cell where the solid metal door could be closed to stop any light coming in or outside views.:

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At Alcatraz during our visit, a former prisoner was there signing his book about his days being locked up here. He is now age 84 and is also an Ohio State football fan. One member from our Ohio group talked with him and he posed for a picture with our friend, Paul. The author and former prisoner's name is William Baker. He was prisoner #1259. While imprisoned here, the inmates were always referred to by just their number, not their name. That was part of the punishment and "treatment" for their "customers. We saw the mess hall and other key parts of this famed prison site.:

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Here is another cute bird seen "up close and personal" during our exploring around on Alcatraz.:

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From Alcatraz Island with one of its buildings on the right side, here is the view towards a portion of the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, that fog is real and often in and around this scenic area.:

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YES, we have some Cable Car pictures and stories. It would not be San Francisco without that fun, history and experience.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Wonderful Kotor and nearby Montenegro? Check these postings. Have had over 36,132 views on this posting and appreciate those who have tuned-in and commented.:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

 

As we were returning from Alcatraz, here is an interesting angle/view on a larger tanker coming into the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge. Like the clouds? Second is a view for some of the tall buildings making up the rising and evolving skyline of San Francisco. This includes the TransAmerica Insurance pyramid, the former Bank of America building, Coit Tower, etc.:

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Cable Cars in San Francisco? Yes, this can be fun and unique, especially when with some of my wife's high school classmates that were along on our 15-day, Panama Canal cruise. We went to the turn-around point for these famed and historic cars at Hyde and Beach Streets on the other side of Fisherman's Wharf. First, it shows how the cars are turned-around by hand pushing to be ready to go back and climb up, UP, UP the SF hills. See Ghirardelli Square in the background? The fare is $7 a person. Not cheap and the waiting can in some locations can take some patience. BUT, we had time to talk, enjoy the weather, see the sights, etc. Plus, take some pictures! You can see another person who was waiting do a cute and fun "photo bombing" of us. Then another person doing this waiting in line was able to snap a picture with my face (whether needed or not) included.:

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While waiting for our ride, we had a chance to chat with one of the "grippers" or drivers. More on that interesting fun shortly. Here is a photo as we are riding inside the Cable Car, including Jean (blond hair with sunglasses on standing and holding the strap). Much more excitement from this "adventure" on this unique form of transportation.:

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Here is more of the "Rest of the Story" on the Cable Car "gripper". The secret to this system is that it is not powered by a gas or diesel engine as a part of the car. Nor, off of electric wires from above.

 

This system is the world's last manually-operated cable car system. Of the 23 lines established between 1873 and 1890, only three remain. Two routes are from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf. The third route along California Street. While some commuters use them, most of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

These cars are pulled by a cable running below the street, held by a grip that extends from the car through a slit in the street surface, between the rails. Each cable is 1.25 inches in diameter, running at a constant speed of 9.5 miles per hour. The cable is driven from a central power house.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!! Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture. This posting is now at 68,547 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

 

As we were climbing up Hyde Street, we passed famed Lombard Street, known for being the most crooked street in the world. From the Cable Car, we could see the the twisted roadway warning sign and in the distant, some key San Francisco icon with Coit Tower, the Bay Bridge, etc.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

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Before starting our ride, we had a great chance to chat and learn more from our "grip" or driver. He's a great personality and shared much background on these cars. He explained that the brakes and "systems" are not all perfectly safe. Therefore, they need to space them out a good distance to lessen any potential problems. At the end of our trip on the lower end of Powell Street near Market, he posed for a fun picture with our group and then was kind enough to take picture of us on the car with me included. He has previously won a champion "bell wringer". That bell wringing is a part of his job to warm people of these approaching Cable Cars. Great personal experience with this friendly and helpful SF star!!:

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At Union Square in the heart of the key San Francisco shopping area, here is one view of the palms and Japanese cherry blossoms. In the background is the Westin St. Francis hotel.:

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For dinner that Wednesday evening, we tried a nearby and highly-rated Italian place, Fino, in the Andrews Hotel at 624 Post Street. It was super wonderful!! First, is my dish of Capesante. It is fresh sea scallops sauteed with lemon, butter, capers and white wine served with fresh linguine with garlic, basil & olive oil. Like? For dessert, we shared a Zabaglione. It was a table-side flaming traditional Italian custard made with marsala wine, white wine, egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice, served warm over fresh berries. Great food for both of us. Got to love dining in San Francisco. Exciting and fun!!:

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Yes, we had visited this unique and scenic town six times prior and seen many of the "basics" previously. BUT, I had not been here since 2001 and we wanted to see what was "new" and different. We decided to take one of the "hop-on, hop-off" buses. BUT, which company and to go for just one day or two days?

 

There are five different companies offering these double-deck buses!! Which one? We went with "Big Bus" and it worked well for us. Fortunately our weather was fairly good and got even better and super sunny on Friday, Below are some visual samples from the early part of our San Francisco exploring.

 

Our live guide on this tour was great with his narration and gave lots of interesting "info items" that added to the "color", enlightening and enjoyment. Being on the open, top deck gives great views, plus allowing a sample of "smells" as you pass near great food areas, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved so many different parts of the Caribbean in 2015!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples for historic San Juan, etc., at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2264847

 

As we commenced our Big Bus tour, one of the first stops was San Francisco City Hall. It looks the Capitol for a Europe nation!! We drove along Van Ness Avenue, famed as the wide "fire-break" during the April 1906 earthquake. The second picture shows the Opera House and the home of the SF Symphony that is a part of this Civic Center that includes many courts and government buildings.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

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Next our bus tour traveled through some various residential areas with many structures having unique and interesting architectural details. This include one part of the route with this special artistic display along one of the wall surfaces.:

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Haight-Ashbury this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary for the first "Summer of Love". This neighborhood is known for its history as the origin for the "hippie" counterculture in 1967. It was the starting point for many famed music stars, including top psychedelic rock performers such as Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. These various performers and others lived just a short distance from this street intersection.:

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So much more to share from San Francisco!! Still many more visuals and details to offer. Cannot sum up the history and sights from this city in just six or twelve pictures. Hope these pictures bring back nice memories and/or encourage future visits.

 

Golden Gate Park has more than 1,000 acres and was commenced in 1871. It is 20 percent larger than Central Park in New York. It is over three miles long east to west, and about half a mile wide. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is of the five most-visited city park in the United States. A couple of times in the past, we have visited the Japanese Tea Garden that occupies five spectacular acres in this park. It is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 180,954 views for this posting.

 

Here is more from our sampling from visiting Haight-Ashbury as they prepared for its 50th anniversary of the "Summer of Love". Our guide noted that some of these artists, including Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. That culture and lifestyle, especially the drugs, were not always very healthy!:

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Here is another example for the many interesting items of residential architecture from riding around in San Francisco!:

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The Golden Gate Park is a large super-star with many options and potentials in San Francisco. Among its many parts is the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum that was re-built and re-opened in 2005 with its unique cooper-styled construction. Another nearby section of this park is shown below, including the Spreckels Temple of Music on the Music Concourse.:

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What is more special and unique than the Golden Gate Bridge?

This suspension bridge spanning the 1.7 mile wide Golden Gate strait between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean links "The City" to Marin County. It carries both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is a true internationally-recognized icon of San Francisco. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

 

This bridge opened in 1937 and was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200'. It is now the second-longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge in New York City. The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge from abutment to abutment is 8,981', per Wikipedia.

 

80th BIRTHDAY??!!: On May 27, 2017, this symbol celebrated its 80th anniversary since its opening in 1937.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 215,584 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

As we traveled during our Big Bus adventures, here are some of the windy and cold pictures going across and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. This includes a view from the north on the Marin County side, plus looking west and seeing some of the nearby coastal sights to the northwest of this famed bridge.:

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Here is another fun example for the interesting architecture in and around San Francisco during our Big Bus travels in two days around this exciting city.:

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Ready for more San Francisco history, sights, architecture, excitement, etc.?

 

As they say on rock-'n-roll classic stations, "the HITS keep rolling along"!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 225,084 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

 

From the Union Square heart of San Francisco, here is one of the Cable Cars coming down Powell Street in front of the Westin St. Francis hotel.:

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Chinatown has always been a unique part of the San Francisco history and scene. Plus, the "tourism mix", culture, dining, etc., that is provide here in a section so close to Union Square. As these pictures reflect, it is still a very "interesting" area and a feast for the eyes and senses. BUT, during this trip, the shops and options seem much less about this culture and their great traditions. It is much more about just "selling stuff" and taking your money. Sorry to be so blunt!:

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Here is a view, from a distance, of vehicles at the top of the picture going down the twisted and unique Lombard Street.:

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In searching for something "new" (for us) in San Francisco, there was interest in seeing their large and well-respected Asian Art Museum.

 

They have one of the most comprehensive Asian collections, with more than 18,000 works in its permanent collection. Some of these are as much as 6,000 years old. Until 2003, the museum shared a space with the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. As the museum’s collection grew, that added space need evolved into it being a part of the Civic Center re-vitalization. This collection reopened in 2003, in the former Beaux Arts-styled San Francisco city library building opposite City Hall.

 

During our visit, they had special exhibit titled "Tomb Treasures". It focused on "Royal life unearthed" about one of the most powerful civilizations of the ancient world, China’s Han dynasty. Much before the birth of Christ, they achieved cultural and artistic influence, technological advancements and military might. Their profile noted: "Emulating their grand palaces, Han royals built lavishly furnished tombs so that, in the afterlife, no need would go unmet. Royal symbols, weaponry and even toiletries were all accounted for. The nobility spared no expense preserving the tools of earthly pleasures, in anticipation of an afterlife to surpass this world. On view for the first time in the U.S., 160 rare selections from recent excavations — including a jade coffin, rare bronze bells and elaborate crafts, share the extravagance, artistry and elegance of Han royal clans."

 

Below are just a few of my visual samples for this exhibit. Since we are preparing for our late January 2018 first visit to Southeast Asia, this museum exploring was of high importance. Our plans for early next year include Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Angkor Wat, Laos and Bangkok.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean adventure that started in Barbados, here is the link for that live/blog. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.):

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 51,239 views for these postings.

 

Here is the front of San Francisco's Asian Art Museum opposite their City Hall.:

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Here are two key items from this Han "Tomb Treasures" display, including the second picture showing the bronze bells.:

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Here are three other items from their collection, including the last item showing a treasure from Thailand that we plan to visit early in 2018.:

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For San Francisco, Union Square is a key and unique 2.6-acre public plaza. It has a parking garage under it and is bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets. "Union Square" also is also used to reference the larger and central shopping, hotel and theater district that surrounds the plaza for several blocks.

 

It got the name because it was once used for rallies and support for the Union Army during the American Civil War. Now, the Union Square area has one of the largest collections of department stores, top-end boutiques, gift shops and art galleries in the U.S. It is a major tourist destination and gathering place. There are grand hotels such as under the names of Hilton, Nikko, Marriott, Hyatt and Westin, plus boutique accommodations small inns, etc. There are repertory, off-Broadway and single-act theaters, including the Geary and Curran that will have major national tours.

 

For shopping, there are Saks, Neiman Marcus (or Needless Mark-Ups as our tour guide joked), Macy's, Tiffany, Williams-Sonoma, Victoria's Secret, Barneys New York, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Apple, Crate and Barrel, etc. A new Harry Winston jewelry store will open here soon. Can't wait??!!

 

From the Asian Art Museum, I forget to mention one key "factoid" we learned there. The label of "Asian" is given to this part of the world. BUT, many view that term as only a Europe/Western phrase that is not totally so accurate or respectful. One posting in this museum made the point that the culture, history, achievements, etc., for China, India, Persia, Indonesia, etc., cannot so easily be "lumped together" and just called as "Asian". Correct and great point!! There are such depths and varieties of history, design, architecture and cultural that each of these different areas merits the attention and focus reflecting their long centuries of world-class standing.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 32,081 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

 

Here are a couple of fun visuals from Union Square, including a newer sculpture with an Orient style and a close-up of the top of the statute in the center of this park. In 1903 they dedicated a 97' tall monument for Admiral Dewey's Manila Bay victory during the Spanish–American War. This picture shows the statue at the top of the monument. It was modeled after a voluptuous Danish-American artist's model, Alma de Bretteville, who eventually married one of San Francisco's richest citizens. He was rich from his empire producing sweets and folks at the time created the term "Sugar Daddy" to describe this marriage of young and old!! Both lived in the biggest mansion in San Francisco and were apparently very, very happy! Like the framing by the cherry blossom that were out during our visit?:

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Nearby Market Street is still a key and very busy place. Here is one visual sample from the high level of our tour bus. The BART mass transit underground line runs under Market Street and to the south is where much of the new office and residential construction is now happening.:

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Fisherman's Wharf? Should we mention or forget this key tourist area? Below are a couple of visuals, including of the Pier 39 area that is super busy, plus a small sampling of the many seafood-focused dining places. Personally, my feelings are very mixed about this part of San Francisco. Too touristy and overly commercial are a kind way in which to say it. Glad that we stayed near the more interesting and diverse Union Square. Not sure the food and shopping options here are that good. Sorry!:

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More to come. Appreciate your interest and time.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

 

For food, part of our Big Bus tour traveled through the North Beach or Italian area of San Francisco. Wow, from the top of the bus, we got to sample some super great "smells"!! Made us hungry!! Here is one dining place that has an interesting name "positioning" as to how they value garlic. Second is a picture from that area that shows on the right the unique corner building with lots of character that now houses the offices and dining establishment owned by Godfather movie creator Francis Ford Coppola. This triangle-shaped structure is called the Sentinel Building. His dining/drinking place is Cafe Zoetrope and it is at the intersection of Columbus and Kearny. At the left, you can see the TransAmerica Tower.:

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Here is the exterior for one of the dining places we super enjoyed. It is Scala's Bistro, right on Powell and the Cable Car line near Union Square in the lower level of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Great Italian food and character!! We so enjoyed the dining experience here during our last night in San Francisco. Below are also a couple of views for its interior bar and food prep areas.:

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As a part of North Beach, these are the towers of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church overlooking Washington Square Park. After their 1954 wedding, Marilyn Monroe and SF native Joe DiMaggio stood in front of this church to greet friends and well-wishers. But, the church would not let them get married inside. DiMaggio was a baseball Hall of Famer for the Yankees who was a SF native son/hero.:

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Buildings are big in San Francisco, especially since our last visit in 2001.

 

Part of the "new" story is how the Transamerica Pyramid has moved into only second place in the ranking for San Francisco's tallest building. Salesforce Toweris a 1,070' office/skyscraper being completed in the South of Market district. Located at 415 Mission Street between First and Fremont Streets, it will be next to the Transbay Transit Center that would involve California's hoped for and high-cost high-speed rail route to Los Angeles. Salesforce Tower will be the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Its architect is César Pelli.

 

The Transamerica Pyramid was 853' high when completed in 1972 to make it the eighth tallest building in the world at that time.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Love the Caribbean? If so, check

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2262999

with a titling of "Barbados: Our Pix's, Experiences Feb./2015!" so you can see lots of fun visuals and ideas for many options and potentials in and around this historic and charming island.

 

Here are two different views of the tallest building now being completed in San Francisco. It is the Salesforce Tower with the cranes working on its angled top. Both of these angles do not reflect how much taller will be this new tower. In later, night picture of the SF skyline, you will see a better comparison for the height differences.:

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Coit Tower is a long-standing San Francisco landmark and this angle from Fisherman Wharf gives this icon a little look/angle/view. Coit is a 210' tower on top of Telegraph Hill. It was built in 1933 using Lillie Hitchcock Coit's bequest. Although there are stories that the tower was designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle due to Coit's connection with the SF firefighters, that resemblance is just myth and good story-telling per our bus tour guide.:

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Near the Civic Center, here is the unique top of this large building that has been completed in the South of Market area. In the foreground is a statue on the Pioneer Monument dedicated in 1894.:

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More Union Square fun? Here is a view of tourists getting a picture in this busy, scenic area.:

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Here is another visual from the North Beach area reflecting some more of the food, etc., options in this Italian, historic part of town.:

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Here is the start of our scenic and dramatic night ride on the Big Bus that included starting by going through The Presidio. Like? Some great night SF views and angles will be coming up soon.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 180,954 views for this posting.

 

In Fisherman's Wharf while waiting to start our night tour, here is a view of the Muni car that travels on the rails along the Embarcadero in these port areas. Nice, old-style look!!:

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Starting at 6 pm Thursday, we did a night tour with the Big Bus. Penny got in line early and we had the front-row seats on the top of this double-decker. Great seats! Excellent views. First is a view of the Buena Vista Cafe at the corner of Hyde and Beach. Opened in 1916, they are credited with introducing Irish coffee to the U.S. in 1952. Sorry, a little windshield glare shows.:

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The Presidio is a former U.S. Army military fort on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula. It had been a fortified location since 1776, when New Spain established it to gain a foothold for this part of California. It passed to Mexico and then became part of the U.S. in 1848. As the Army down-sized, it was transferred to the National Park Service and became a mixed commercial and public property. A new Walt Disney Museum is here along with a number creative facility for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic operations. There is a large military cemetery here that is pictured below. This park has wooded areas, hills and scenic vistas overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, the downtown skyline and Pacific Ocean.:

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Here is a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge that we got early evening from nearby to this Presidio location. This visual includes a small sail boat going under this historic structure. Nice evening sky!:

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Here is the "frosting" on the cake to punctuate for the unique beauty and charm of San Francisco. These nights views, especially on a perfect weather night, made our experience so super special and memorable.

 

We finish our night tour by going to Treasure Island. It is an artificial island in San Francisco Bay. It was built 1936–37 for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. During World War II, it became a part of Naval air and sea operations.

 

Reactions? Which pictures here and in the earlier posts did you like best to represent this historic and building city? Any other tips and ideas to share for others in preparing to visit San Francisco?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 215,584 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

During our Big Bus night tour, our front-row seats from the top of this double-decker gave us some great views as the sun was setting and night was approaching. We rode through some of the "young and hip" areas where the tech crowds have driven up real estate prices and made things exciting for drinking, dining, etc. BUT, this trend has crowded out many of the long-time resident who cannot afford the soaring rents, etc. We rode through Nob Hill and saw the famed hotels and structures where the "Big Four" made this section of town so famous. Below is the California Street Cable Car crossing Powell and headed down toward the waterfront area.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

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From Treasure Island accessed by crossing part of the Bay Bridge, here is the great view of this part of the bridge used to reach Oakland. You can also see some of the new buildings rising, etc., in San Francisco's South of Market area. Second is a part of the new, single-level Bay Bridge that goes from Alameda Island to Oakland. Nice dramatic design and lighting for this portion of this bridge!!:

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For a portion of the older, double-level Bay Bridge that goes from Alameda Island to San Francisco, here is a sampling of the new, innovative lighting that changes, moves and highlights these spans.:

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Here is a better comparison for the construction and soaring SF skyline, including how the new Salesforce Tower on the left side will be higher than the Transamerica Pyramid on the right side.:

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Finally, here is a closer night look at the historic Ferry Building from Treasure Island. At one point, this Ferry tower was the tallest in town. At 245', this clock tower with four clock dials, each 22' in diameter. It was designed in 1892 in the Beaux Arts style. It survived both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. On Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, it hosts a Farmers Market. A couple of the buildings shown are lighted in green as we were there during the St. Patrick's Day celebrations!:

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Fab photos. Really whetting the appetite for our visit in February. Busy looking at the different bus tours and walking tours. Difficult to decide which is the best. We have 3 days in SF

 

Appreciate these great comments and this nice follow-up. Good luck with your upcoming San Francisco adventure!! YES, it's nice to have options, but it is hard to pick which one works and fits best for your personal interests. We are very glad we had the two-day pass and especially in doing their night tour. Getting the right/best weather can also be an important factor to consider. Let me know any added questions.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

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  • 2 months later...

From the Travel Section of the London/UK Sunday Express yesterday, they have this headline: San Francisco: The MUST see sights and hidden gems in California's most cosmopolitan city with these highlights: “For those on their first trip to the city, it can be tricky to know what to do. What hidden gems should travellers definitely seek out? Perhaps one of the trickiest decisions to make is where to stay. No trip to San Fran is complete without a visit to the most notorious attraction, Alcatraz. 1.25 miles offshore from the city, tours of the island prison tell the sometimes grisly stories of its past inmates. San Francisco has several well known exports, but it is the hippies of the 60s who really define the city and who perhaps went on to have the biggest impact worldwide. The centre of the hippy universe in that period was the Haight-Ashbury district, with its stunning Victorian architecture.

 

Lots of pictures, options and ideas are offered in this profile for one of our most favorite cities. If headed to SF, check out these various and potentials.

Full story at:

http://www.express.co.uk/travel/shortbreaks/849326/san-francisco-flights-attractions-best-hotels

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from this live/blog at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 34,279 views for this visual sharing including Cape Town, along South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
We are in SF next September on the Island Princess. We are docked from 7a-11pm. I am interested in Meir park, Sauceleto, and Haight-Ashberry. Can we do this in the time we have in port?

 

Sorry for my delay in responding. Appreciate this good question and follow-up. Yes is the quick answer. Especially with that much time in wonderful San Francisco. It is possible, but then the next questions are as to whether and how you desire to do your logistics for visiting these nice and interesting areas? Did you seek a tour/bus that does these stops? Were you going visit these locations independently with a rental car? Did you want a local driver/guide who gets you around? There are five different bus/tour companies. Not sure, however, as to whether their offerings would fit and work on your schedule and how much time you desire for spending at each location. Tell us more!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 189,644 views for this posting.

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If "Meir Park" is Muir Woods (the one with the redwood trees) you'll need reservations to park or take a shuttle there beginning January 2018:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Muir-Woods-to-start-requiring-reservations-for-12364639.php

 

Appreciate this great update and item of "news" regarding Muir Woods. This is a wonderful and popular location. BUT, with such "success" things do often need to be done in order to manage its popularity. Keep up the great sharing.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 220,764 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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  • 4 months later...

We are planning on doing Greyline to starting at 9am to Muir woods and then to sausalito with the sam grayline tour. We will catch the ferry back to the port. Should be back by 5p. We have 5pm - 10pm pm to check out Ferry Building and other local sites.

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