Friday, May 26, 2000

USA Snapshots - San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Los Angeles

This post was extracted from our old website.

It shows photos of the following from our 1999 trip to the USA:

San Francisco

Tony attended a conference in the States last year. The last couple of days were in San Francisco where I met up with him. We spent two weeks in San Francisco and got to do most of the touristy things in that time, except ride the cable car.

Mission Dolores is the birthplace of San Francisco. It is on the site of the original mission set up by the Franciscan monks.
Inside Mission Dolores.
The San Francisco city skyline from Alcatraz Island.

On the left is the Bay Bridge, a double-deck bridge. During the 1989 earthquake one of the sections in the upper deck dropped onto the deck below.

Photo of Alcatraz taken from the ferry as we headed back to Pier 39.
Sea lions at Pier 39.

Not a great photo, think I've taken out too much of the graininess. The sea lions moved to Pier 39, an entertainment complex, after the 1989 earthquake. They were just lazing around, but the noise and smell were indescribable.

As with most "wildlife" photos, we used up almost half a roll of film.

"Postcard Row" or "The Painted Ladies" - probably the most photographed set of Victorian houses in San Francisco.

These houses are seen at the beginning of many sitcoms and films shot in San Francisco.

Couldn't have photos of San Francisco without one of the Golden Gate Bridge. We only managed to get photos when the tours took us up there - most of the time the bridge was obscured by cloud.
The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Exposition for the opening of the Panama Canal. Most of the other buildings were torn down. Basically the building is something like chicken wire and Plaster of Paris!
Just to prove we were there.

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Yosemite National Park

The Yosemites were beautiful. We spent 4 days there, breaking up a tour to ensure that we could have extra time. In the end, we could have spent more time there. Our room looked onto the sheer walls of the valley and overlooked a grassed area where the squirrels ran around. Raccoons climbed down the tree next to our balcony and ambushed us when we went to get ice at night.

Unfortunately, photographs cannot show the full beauty of this place, and because half the animals are nocturnal or won't keep still, we did not have many wildlife shots.

We joined umpteen other photographers at sunset to get a photo of the sun setting across the face of Half Dome.
This is a shot of El Capitan at the head of the Yosemite Valley.

Tony took 2 photos , one of El Capitan itself and then another of the climbers using full zoom. The inset photograph matches the section circled on the rock. I think there are actually supposed to be three climbers in this shot.

It takes 4-5 days to climb El Capitan and the climbers sleep overnight on the rock. At night we could see the torch lights of climbers part way up the rock.

A classic shot of the Yosemite Valley and the Merced River.

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Los Angeles

We only had 3 days in Los Angeles, 2 taken up with tours and the third to visit my pen friend, Jane, and her husband, James. The last photos are still in our camera. The first day of our stay was Hollywood and Universal Studios, the second was Disneyland.

This is the backlot at Universal Studios. The city skyline was built for the movie "ET". The backlot tour is definitely recommended.
The crew of Apollo 13. I prefer the photo with Babe, but unfortunately my eyes were closed. Now if Tony hadn't made me take off my sunglasses ...
Now this is a fun area of Disneyland - Toontown.

After this photo was taken, the clock struck, bells rang and out walked … Donald and Daisy.

And here's the Duck himself signing autographs.

He just can't get away from the paparazzi.

This is me, Jane and James at a dim sum (yum cha) restaurant in Orange County.

Jane was my very first pen pal. We've been writing for 20 years!

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