Monday 28 November 2016
My original plan today was to take a tour of San Francisco and the Muir Woods with a local tour company Dylan’s Tours but yesterday while on Angel Island they contacted me and told me they had to reschedule for later in the week as I was the only person booked for today. I just moved some things around on my planner and now today I am heading to Coit Tower, San Francisco Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.
Coit Tower doesn’t open until 10:00am so I wasn’t in any sort of rush to get moving. I walked down to the cable car turnaround a jumped on the Powell-Hyde line.
Looking up Powell Street
Looking down Bush Street
Down the other end of Powell Street
Up Jackson Street
View of Alcatraz while going down Hyde Street, with Angel Island behind it.
Looking straight down Lombard Street, with Coit Tower at the top right hand corner of the shot and Yerba Buena Island which the Bay Bridge runs through and out the other side to Oakland.
I got off the cable car at the end of the line, Beach and Hyde Street – and managed to nab a pic of the cable car operator. It was off the cable car and right into Starbucks for a coffee. Then the 5-10 minute walk to Pier 39.
Keeping up with the street car spotting
After about a 15 minute wait the 39 bus finally arrived to take me to Coit Tower, through the streets of North Beach, dropping off right outside the entrance to the tower. It was cheap to enter, only $8.00. The lift goes up to – if I remember right – the 11th floor and I had to walk up the last flight to the observation level. There is no roof at that level so you need to watch out for the weather. There are 360 degree views through the windows, some of which were open.
I started with the view out to Yerna Buena Island and worked my way around anti-clockwise. Here you can see the Bay Bridge coming from San Fran on the right-bottom and out to Oakland on the top-left of the island.
Zooming in on the Ferry Building with the Bay Bridge behind it
Close up of Lombard Street
Close up of Pier 39, you can even, sorta see the seals from here
The shadow of Coit Tower and the Columbus Statue in the car park
There’s a nice little green area behind the tower
Out the front of the tower there is a Columbus Statue in the middle of the car park and turnaround
I caught the 39 bus back to Fisherman’s Wharf and tried to get a good photo of Saint Peter and Paul’s Church at Washington Square. I tried but it’s difficult in a moving bus.
Back at Fisherman’s Wharf and it was a short walk to San Francisco Dungeon and Madame Tussauds which are operated by the same company in the same building. I bought a combo ticket to both attractions.
The show started at 12:00pm and you make your way from room to room. Each room is a scene from San Francisco history with actors playing parts of people to show how life was back then. There was a court room scene, a dingy bar scene and others. The show last for 60 minutes and unfortunately photos were not allowed.
After the show I went directly across the road to the Boudin Bistro where K and I had lunch on Saturday. I had clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl again. Yum yum. After lunch it was back across the road to Madame Tussauds.
Some of my favourites
Mork from Ork!
A Tony Bennett welcome
Ed Sheeran – for my second daughter A, who is obsessed with him
Neil Patrick Harris
When I had gone all the way through to the end I was thinking, “Is that all?”. It was but I couldn’t help feeling that there should have been more. I have been to two other Madame Tussauds and this was the fastest I had been through, though there wasn’t many people so that could explain it too.
I left Madame Tussauds and walked a few doors up the street to Ripley’s Believe it or Not!. I had seen and enjoyed the TV show in the 1980’s and again when it was rebooted in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s. I expected this to be full of curiosities and oddities and I wasn’t disappointed, the place was jam packed with them. I saw plenty of things that made me go”oh wow”, a few times there was an “ewww” and also some “what the ..?”. The photos here a just a small selection, there are so many more things and all are interesting.
In the foyer there was a transformer, Captain America, Iron Man, a woolly mammoth and a car flattened in the 1989 earthquake. There was also this T-Rex made out of scrap metal.
A 13 foot long scale model of the Golden Gate Bridge made from 30,000 toothpicks.
Scale model of the cable car from the California line, a one third, 8 foot long scale model with moving parts made out of 270,836 matches.
A piece of the original suspender cable from the Golden Gate Bridge
Life size sculpture of a moose made up of 60,000 nails welded together
Carving titled “a group of gods offering birthday celebrations” made from camel bone
Donkey made from wine corks
Fossilised walrus penis – all 54 inches of it
Vishnu’s Door Keeper
Tibetan Lama’s Crown
Hand written copy of the bible which needed 2,426 sheets of paper and 43 pens
Zoltar – this brought back memories of the movie “Big”
Camel bladder bottle
Vampire killing kit
Carved Tibetan skull
Ancient Peruvian vomit bone
Scale model of the space shuttle Challenger – 1 inch : 10 foot – make up of 600,000 matches.
Soviet Sokol KV-2 rescue suit, for use in emergencies inside a space capsule, not for spacewalks.
There were many artworks made from various materials. This one is Jimi Hendrix made form cassette tapes
Jerry Garcia made with chook wire
After leaving Ripley’s I walked to a streetcar stop to catch the F to the Railway Museum near the ferry building, the F stops right outside it.
I waited for about 15 minutes without seeing an F so I caught the next E. They take the same route up to the ferry building so I got off there and walked the short distance to the Railway Museum but it wasn’t open as it was Monday.
I decided to walk back to, and along the waterfront to get a good look at the Bay Bridge. It really is quite impressive.
By this time it was only 4:45pm but the sun was setting already. I took the F back to Powell Street and hung around the cable car turnaround for K to arrive after she finished work. It was really pretty with the Christmas lights.
When K arrived we walked to Mission Street which is on the other side of Market Street but only a five minute walk or so and took the 14 bus to the Mission district. The plan was to get a burrito then a movie but the line was out the door and we didn’t feel like waiting.
Instead we went straight to the theatre, an awesome place called the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. This place has a restaurant and bar as well as cinemas. We bought our tickets to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and headed upstairs to our cinema where we nabbed a front row seat.
This place is like no other cinema, the seats have a built in fold up table with table service. We ordered fried pickles which I had never had before (yum yum!), stuffed mushrooms and I had a key lime milkshake. It was so delicious and more like a thick shake than a milk shake, it tasted just like a lime cheesecake and just thinking about it now I would really love another one.
The movie was fantastic!