Today I was supposed to be working but at the last moment they cancelled on me. Martin had also forgotten to tell me he had the day off, so since the sun was shining, even though I was still feeling a bit rough, we decided to go look round Walmer Castle. At the door we were given the hard sell on joining National Heritage, so now, according to my daughter, we are officially old! Anyway it wasnt a bad day and in a little while I am going to go check out all the other places we can now visit for free. Only a couple more days of our usa trip to record. On the second to last day we got up a little alter and meandered round to Starbucks. It was very busy so I sat outside and waited for Martin to get the coffee, watching the world and the people go by while I stood there. I was facinated by the young guy who rocked up with a golden retriever. He tied him up outside and nearly every one who passed stopped to pet or talk to him. Turns out the dog's name was Hadley and he came by most mornings. When his owner came out, they both called in to see 'Tony' who lived next door. When they came out Tony' had obviously supplied dog treats which Hadley earned by jumping up and giving his master a proper High Five. Today Martin wanted to do all the tourist things. We set off to cross Golden Gate Bridge, to take our obligatory photos. Dolly had told us the best place to take the pics of the bridge was from the other side looking back towards San Francisco but the sun appeared to be in totally the wrong place. No matter how hard I tried I just could not get any seemingly through the veiwer decent pics of us without our faces in shade, even with flash infill. (Of course back home the photos look ok) Anyway we took a drive around to find a better view. We drove into the National Parkland where we saw a deer, a youth summer camp hostel, a rather scanky looking beach in the distance, some military concrete buildings, and finally some images across the bay. We drove back into SF to to drive down the 'most crooked road in the world' Lombard street. I have to say both of these experiences although fun were a bit of an anticlimax. Golden Gate looks impressive but compared to driving over the River Severn in gale force winds (with police moving lorries into the outside lane to protect the smaller lighter vehicles), or the huge and high dartford crossing bridge, it was a rather boring drive, and the crooked street, where you are stuck in a traffic jam going 1 mile per hour, has nothing on driving round the mountainouse hair pin bends in Corfu on the back of a scooter where you cant find second gear.
After stopping off at Safeway to stock up on munchies, we dropped the car back in the hotel car park and took the bus out to Golden Gate Park. This was a completely different bus route and I suspect we got off further away than we needed to as it was quite a walk into the park. Still we were definately using our Muni tickets to full advantage and I would recommend getting them. Using the bus/cable/street cars is by far the best way of getting round the city.
I'm not sure what I expected, and at first it looked much like any municiple park with bowling green and children's climbing frames, but suddenly we were in the which was beautiful. The first thing we saw was a humming bird all but 3 foot away from us hovering near a huge flower. I was too stunned to take a photo and by the time I got the camera on and primed it flew away. But then we saw this marvelous creature and I was a little happier.
The park was very popular as we found when we went to visit the Japanese garden. In fact there was such a queue and you also had to pay quite a steep entrance fee that we decided to give it a miss and walk a bit further in. We noticed two blokes with large cameras on tripods attempting to take photo's of something in the bushes - I am conviced it was humming birds but Martin thinks it may have been bigger birds since they were a fair distance from the trees. We watched for ages, and amazingly several people also stopped to ask what WE were looking at, but we never saw what they were taking.
By now our little leggies were well walked out, so we caught another bus back into the city. We had intended walking around the corner to a small cinema showing Indiana Jones, but it suddenly turned cold and windy so once again we collapsed into bed to watch more Law and Order re-runs. We are such light weights LOL