That evening we had a quieter night, with a quick trip back to the casino (where we lost all our winnings from earlier on) and had a nice wander through the town. We also watched the Mirage Volcano show and the Bellagio Fountains – these are outdoor shows put on by some of the hotels that run at certain times of the night. If you want a decent view then you have to get there early though as the streets become packed very quickly with spectators!
Our first stop on the hike was Vernal Fall. Walking on the footpath past this huge waterfall it was easy to see why it’s called the Mist Trail – the spray from the waterfall is so powerful that it absolutely soaks you as you walk past! For about 5-10 minutes we climbed up the rocks alongside the fall and by the time we got to the top we looked like we’d just been stood under the shower fully clothed! It was ridiculous and so cold, but all part of the fun so we didn’t really mind!
While on the island we also took an audio tour of the cellhouse which was fantastic! We were each given some headphones and a small controller so you could stop and start the audio tour as and when you wanted to. It featured voices and stories from real inmates and officers in the prison and gave loads of amazing information about the places you were standing right in front of! We heard stories of various escape attempts and murders within the prison, and even got to stand inside some of the old cells! We both thought it was really good and would highly recommend a visit to Alcatraz for anyone in the San Francisco area!
We spent the afternoon having a look around the shops on Pier 39 before making our way through town to the famous Lombard Street. I saw a photo of this street ages ago on Instagram and ever since I saw it I have wanted to visit, so I knew I had to fit it into our trip somewhere! It’s a street that has become famous for its unusual design, involving 8 hairpin turns to create a beautiful zig-zag road. It was hard to get a good photo of the street without having a high vantage point, but it was fun to see it all the same. We then had another walk through town, which anybody who has been to San Francisco will know is not an easy task! The city is built on a huge hill with extremely steep streets, so walking anywhere was very tiring - even going downhill was hard because it was so steep! We finally found ourselves wandering through Chinatown which was really cool, with beautiful lanterns hanging in the streets and cute little shops and market stalls selling all sorts of random things. For a moment, it actually felt like we could have been in China!
Those who have read all my blog posts about this trip, you’ve probably realised by now that I loved every second of it! There were good and bad parts, like there will be with any trip, but I wouldn’t have done anything differently and there’s nothing I would change – even our horrible night in Gallup is now a funny experience to look back on! All in all, both me and Greg had the time of our lives and I miss it every day. I’m now planning many more trips because there’s just so much of the world that needs exploring!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my adventures and seeing some of the photos I took whilst out there. For more photos please see my Facebook page and my Instagram account, and also watch this space for my short film about the trip which I am currently working on!
Until next time…keep on travelling!