Posts Tagged ‘spring’

San Fran

12th March 2011 by Helen
Alcatraz

Alcatraz

After a bit of a lie in to recover from our day at Cole European yesterday, we spent a little time exploring San Francisco today.

We decided we didn’t really need to visit Alcatraz, although we leant on the railings and peered across the water at the ‘rock’.  The most surprising thing was that it seemed so close to the mainland.  I imagine it must have been really frustrating for those imprisoned on the island.

2011 03 12 (45) - Pier 39 - San Fran - carousel - rotated

riding the carousel at Pier 39 San Francisco

We also took a walk around Pier 39, what I think is the main tourist pier.  It struck us both as being just like Blackpool back home.  Lots of souvenir shops selling T-shirts and such like.  Didn’t see any Kiss Me Quick hats, guess that can’t be very American.  The usual street entertainers, many of which are pretty second rate.  A juggler who had a pretty dismal sound system and no personality to his patter.  One guy trying to do one of those ‘freeze’ mimes – where they stand so still you think they are statues until they scare some poor passer-by – except he hardly stood still – the ones you get in Covent Garden in London were much better.  We stopped a while to listen to blues singer Dave Earl.  He was definitely the best, but then as I love the Blues I might have been a bit biased too!!

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

streets of San Francisco

streets of San Francisco

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we started our journey south again.  The weather’s warm, the spring flowers are blooming, the rain’s falling.  But it’s been another quite long day and we are tired, so on spotting a ‘campsite’ sign just short of Santa Cruz we make that our stop for the night.  Apart from the usual drone of traffic in the background, in what is proudly declared the most populated State in the US, there is an amazing racket being kept up by the local frog population.

Campsite – KOA at Costanoa (just north of Santa Cruz)

Interviews, water and an amazing shop

16th August 2010 by Helen

Saturday 31st July

After a late start we hit the more touristy region of the Altai, evidenced not just by the rows and rows of souvenir stalls selling silly and not so silly hats, beach toys, and such like, but also the Bavarian style restaurant with artificial water wheel and artificial fountain outside.

After brunch at aforementioned restaurant we headed on out again, looking for opportunities to fill our on board water tank, and, seeing some people filling water bottles from a spring we stopped to see if the water was good.  A filtration plant next to it suggested it was and we were able to completely fill our water tank with safe, clean, drinking water.  In the meantime, a young man and woman stopped to speak to us.  He turned out to be a freelance professional photographer and journalist and we were interviewed in a combination of bits of Russian and English and had our photo taken.  Somewhere we may be on a Russian internet site and even in print.  We’re hoping he will email us with the link, in which case we will add it to the site.

We have found that our table, stored in the rear seating area, has caused some damage to some wiring and so are now strapping it to the roof.  This is inconvenient to say the least.  This was one of our unresolved problems before we left the UK and now we have to resolve it.  Paul has been looking out for some lengths of angled aluminium to make some better storage under the roof rack.  None to be found anywhere.  Then just as we were passing through a village I saw a sign for a shop that appeared to sell at least screws.  Stopping, we found they also sold some angled fittings, that although not what Paul wanted originally, but can be used to do the job.

An amazing shop, He had only been open for five days when we called in and was still unpacking some of his stock.  Everything was laid out neatly and he had virtually every size of screw, nut, bolt, fitting and whatnot, there is going.  A real specialist shop if ever there was one and Paul was entranced.  I really hope he does well in his business.  Before we left he gave us a signed copy of a book he has written.  It’s all in Russian, so now I have something to work on to practice my translation skills (when I’ve finished the somewhat easier children’s book, Ali Baba, which I bought in Almaty for that purpose).

Campsite – wild camping by a river in the Altai region of Russia

Distance travelled 135 km

(click individual photos to see larger picture)