After leaving Evan’s driveway, which had been my home for over a week, I followed the coast northwards up Highway 1, and stopped off to see Hearst Castle, which had been highly recommended by a couple of people. I found the story of William Randolph Hearst quite fascinating, and the castle itself, which was built as his home, was nothing short of spectacular.
It had everything required to entertain guests in fine style, including a couple of pools, tennis courts, guest villas, an airstrip, and much more. And many famous guests visited in their day, including Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, Winston Churchil and a host of others.
That evening I parked up for the night at the side of the highway overlooking the ocean, lit by the moon. It was a very quiet and peaceful, with only a very occasional car passing by.
The next day I drove into Monterey, which is a beautiful place, and after a quick look around, headed on into San Francisco. I found the local Walmart and left the RV to go into the city to meet Susan, another website contact, who had offered to show me around the city. We had a couple of drinks and a bite to eat, and arranged a day of city sightseeing for the next day before I headed for home.
I met Susan again the next morning, and we bought our tickets for the touristy cable cars. They are pretty well known as a San Francisco attraction, and I am sure you will have seen them featured in many movies, as they climb up and down the steep streets. They are pretty impressive.
We got off at Lombard Street, the famous steeply twisting road, and walked down and then onwards to Fisherman’s Wharf. We sat at Pier 39 and watched the sea lions there on the floating pontoons. It was beautifully warm and sunny. From there we walked to Coit Tower, with spectacular views over the whole city, and after a quick look around Chinatown Susan had to leave, and I headed for Pier 33, where the night tour of Alcatraz Island would depart from.
The cruise went around the west side of the island, and then on the island itself a great audio-guide tour around the buildings provided a fascinating insight into the history of the imposing fortress prison there. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge just after sunset, seen from the prison guards’ area, was awesome, a stark contrast to the grim interior of the prison itself.
A busy day with a lot of touristy sightseeing fitted in, and more to come tomorrow