Posted by Tamsyn Strike
5 July, 2013

I’ve just returned from a two week trip to the United States, accompanied by my friend Joe. The first week we got a taste of what it’s like to be a ‘San Franciscan’…

Chinatown

San Francisco Chinatown is apparently the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. We went back for a few visits; it has a great atmosphere.

We took a boat trip from San Francisco Bay, which took us out under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island.

China Town in San Francisco. A spire-like building in San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge took around four years to complete and cost more than $35 million, but it was completed ahead of schedule and even under budget. It’s not until you’re up close that you understand just how vast the bridge really is. It’s an outstanding structure.

The Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco.

Alcatraz Island

Previous to it being the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island was a military fortification and later a military prison. In 1969, it was even occupied for almost two years by a group of Native Americans.

A sign warning people not to help prisoners escape on Alcatraz Island. Alcatraz Island in San Fransisco. The ruins of a building and a still-standing lighthouse.

Musée Mécanique

We stumbled across the Musée Mécanique when walking across Fisherman’s Warf. The museum is supposedly one of the world’s largest privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines. If you have a terrible fear of clowns or dolls I don't recommend visiting; there are some rather creepy fortune-telling machines lurking there.

A robotic boxing amusement from 1928.

Being film fanatics, we even squeezed in two film locations: Steiner Street, to visit the house of Mrs Doubtfire (oddly at the exact same address as mentioned in the film), and Sister Act’s St. Katherine’s Parish (really St. Paul’s Catholic Church).

A house built on a steep street in San Francisco. A church with tall spires in San Francisco. A long, steep hill in San Francisco.