Bike the Golden Gate Bridge!

San Francisco, United States 

DSC_4353
Me @ Golden Gate Bridge

It was more than a year ago that I was last here, but it feels nostalgic to visit San Francisco again. It was a great trip this time but there was a tinge of sadness.. Perhaps it was on my last trip that I found out how harsh and tough reality can be. I was terribly homesick on my last trip. I shall not elaborate about it but it makes me realize that I can’t be living like a little girl anymore. I will be officially turning 23 in three more months. *OMG* Isn’t it amazing how time flies? It may seem that I am enjoying my life traveling around but loneliness can be overwhelming at times especially when I fall sick overseas. Whenever I am feeling down, I will read my blog and I am amazed by the number of places that I have been too. I still have a burning passion for travel and I want to travel and see the world as much as I can.

DSC_4265
Bym, Travis, Jamie & Me

I con convince the rest to join me on a cycling trip to Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. I felt quite bad cos everyone had terrible muscle aches for the next few days after our cycling trip. We were ridiculously burned trying our best to cycle up San Francisco’s famous steep hills.

DSC_4249

We rented our bicycles from Blazzing Saddles at Pier 41 in Fisherman’s Wharf. We chose the “deluxe comfort bike” and each bike costs USD36 for the one day rental. But trust me, you will want to get the electric bikes which cost a little bit more (USD69/Day). We overestimated our abilities and the famous San Francisco’s famous steep hills proved to be too physically taunting for us. Most of the times when we reach the foot of the slopes, we had to get off and push our bikes up hills. My stamina is not as good as before and this is a wake-up call to hit the gym more often!

4ad4bb63-c596-43dd-a04e-654b5f524a93wallpaper

Paperworks settled, got our bikes and OFF WE GO~

DSC_4299

It took us 4 hours to reach our final destination Sausalito as we kept stopping to take photos.

a965c8c8-f4e1-4537-a4f5-7496e7e9f9bfwallpaper

Took a few jump shots…

DSC_4331

DSC_4334

…..And some funny and lame shots. Jamie was so engrossed “kicking” me that her shoes fly off. Lucky it didn’t hit my face! *Phew*

DSC_4303

Nice cool weather & Beach – a good combination to enjoy a great weekend!

DSC_4357
Golden Gate Bridge

DSC_4386

Even though it was tiring, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge was a great experience.

DSC_4395

DSC_4397

Where Sky and Ocean Merge…

The view of the Pacific Ocean was spectacular. It had a calming effect on me and it was a beautiful sight to behold.

1bdb25de-73b9-42c8-9501-22de4df87526wallpaper

DSC_4418

All of us felt a sense of satisfaction when we finally reached the other side of the bridge, Golden Gate Park National Recreation Area. It was an easy downhill ride to Sausalito.

DSC_4424

While on our way to Sausalito, we stopped by at this pier to take some photos. Managed to capture this nice little bird posing for me. 🙂

DSC_4433

We met this very nice and friendly local couple on the pier and we had a brief chat with them.

DSC_4431

They caught this whole bucket of dungeness crab. I like this kind of lifestyle…taking time off…just chillax and enjoy… Lifestyle in Singapore is too stressful and I doubt we can enjoy such life and not even in the near future.

DSC_4453

We cycled a few more steep slopes before reaching Sausalito and we took the last ferry back. It was too tiring and impossible to cycle back with the amount of energy left. It was invigorating but the beautiful sights along the trip made it all worthwhile. It is a trip you have to do it and you won’t regret it!  🙂

Won’t you save me San Francisco? Part 2

San Francisco, U.S.A

Alcatraz Island, a maximum security prison to house some of America’s most notorious offenders in the 20th century.

Alcatraz Island is one of the most popular attractions in San Francisco and tickets sell out fast. We were really lucky to get hold of the tickets and visited the island on our second day in San Francisco.

The only way to reach Alcatraz Island is via the ferry ride from Pier 33 near Fisherman’s Wharf.

View of Golden Gate Bridge from our ferry to Alcatraz Island. How can you not see the Golden Gate Bridge when you are in San Francisco? It is just like not eating Dim Sum when you are in Hong Kong or Sushi in Japan. Talking about that, I didn’t manage to eat Dim Sum when I was in Hong Kong and I still hoping to try it one day!

Alcatraz Island Lighthouse, the oldest light station on U.S. West Coast.

Deterioration of the structures on Alcatraz Island over time and cordoned off for visitors’ safety.

“Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz”

We were given an audio device to take on a self-guided tour around the prison. The award-wining self-guided audio tour was so awesome and includes stories from former prison guards and inmates as you walk through the cell block.

The new inmates will collect their prison uniform here with an identification number on their first day in the island.


This is the common shower area for the prison inmates.

The inmates have to be confined in their tiny and cramped cell with no freedom and loneliness in the island.

Broadway“, the central walkway in the cell block between B and C blocks.

This is me standing at the Broadway with the audio device hanging around my neck.

The Dining Hall, it is also called the ‘Gas Chamber’ due to the teargas canisters installed and is used used in the event of a riot. The dining hall was the most vulnerable area for riots and fights because they now had knifes and forks to harm each other.

View of the Kitchen. To avoid the risk of riots, the inmate were fed very well with meat, potatoes, gravy, vegetables, salad, salad dressing, bread and coffee.

Cell Block D and apparently, this is the most haunted area.

Several of the cells in Alcatraz’s D Block were designed for solitary confinement and the most serious offenders could be confined to these cells. These cells were called “The Hole” as they contained no windows and inmates will live completely isolated in darkness.

I felt spooky when I stepped into “The Hole” and I did not even wish to spend more than 5 seconds in this cell.

Inmates were given restricted access to the Library. Books on sex, violence and crime were not available.

Recreation Yard, the only place where inmates could enjoy sunlight and fresh air. They could also play sports such as baseball or handball in the recreation yard.

The Water Tower in recreation yard.

Visitation Area. Inmates could earn visitation privileges with good records. They could receive a visit from their immediate family members once every month. However, many are deferred to do so as the journey to Alcatraz Island is expensive for just an hour long visit over the telephone.

This is the housing for the prison guards and their families.

View of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island.

The isolation of Alcatraz Island from outside by the cold water and strong current of San Francisco Bay made it hard for anyone to escape.

One of the famous escape attempts include ‘The Battle of Alcatraz in 1946‘ which was the bloodiest attempt in the prison’s history.

The elevated Gun Gallery in the Cell House.

One of the inmates Bernard Coy spotted a flaw in the bars protecting the Gun Galley and widened it with a self-made bar spreading device. He starved himself so that he could be thin enough to squeeze through the bars and gained control of the guns. Bernard Coy and his accomplices tried to takeover the island but the escape attempt was foiled. They couldn’t find the keys as prison guard William A. Miller had held on to the keys as contrary to the regulations to let out kitchen staff without having to disturb the gallery guard.

The prisoners were trapped in the cell house as the inmates tried several keys and jammed the locks. Two guards and three inmates were killed in the battle of Alcatraz. Two of the surviving convicts were executed.

In memorial of prison officer William A. Miller for his quick thinking and bravery.

The only successful escape attempt that was possibly made was the ‘June 1962 Alcatraz Escape‘ by Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin.

They used self-made drills to enlarge the vent holes in their cells. The noise was disguised by the accordions played during music hours. They also used false walls and realistic dummy heads with human hair placed in their beds so that they would not be missed during nighttime head counts. They crawled out of their cells through the small vent hole and used raincoat to construct a raft to escape from the island. It is still not known if they have made it alive.

Replica of the dummy heads used in the escape attempt.

Alcatraz was never no good for nobody.” AZ 1576 Frank Weatherman, last prisoner to leave Alcatraz.

The prison on Alcatraz Island was too expensive to operate as the costs of transporting supplies to this isolated was too high. The buildings were also deteriorating rapidly caused by the corrosive effect of the salt water around the island. Hence, the federal prison was shut down in March 21, 1963 and it has now became a national park which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


Has the spirits decided to stay in Alcatraz for good? This photo is for your imagination.

Won’t you save me San Francisco? Part 1

San Francisco, U.S.A

I keep blasting this song “Save me, San Francisco” by Train when I was in San Francisco. It feels really different to play this song in San Francisco than in Singapore and it just add up the mood.

If you are wondering why this bridge is not red in color, it is because I went to the wrong bridge. I wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge but ended up at Bay Bridge instead. LOL!

All thanks to the concierge who gave me the wrong direction and told me that Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Bridge are “walking distance” from the hotel. So I walked for an hour to see the wrong bridge. -.-

Many many birds and of cos, lots of poo-poo as well.

A view of city life in San Francisco.

I finally reached Fisherman’s Wharf from Bay Bridge after walking for about an hour more. You can see how determined I am to explore this city! Hahah!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Anybody who watched the movie “Forrest Gump” will definitely know this! This is one of my favorite movies and It really inspires and motivates me. I have re-watched this movie for many times and it still makes me cry.

Some of the memorable quotes that have impacted me…

Forrest Gump: My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Mrs. Gump: Don’t ever let anybody tell you they’re better than you, Forrest.

Jenny Curran: Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you’re gonna be?
Forrest Gump: Who I’m gonna be?
Jenny Curran: Yeah.
Forrest Gump: Aren’t-aren’t I going to be me?

If you have not seen the movie yet, please watch it.

I had oysters for lunch! Love it!

Dungeness crab is easily found in Fisherman’s Wharf and apparently, this is one of the must-try dishes in San Francisco. Pretty disappointed with the dish cos the crab has not much meat. Our local chili Alaskan crabs win this Dungeness crab hands down.

When you are in San Francisco, you must also try Clam Chowder! Very nice! And if you want to drink alcoholic beverage or use credit card in this country, please be sure to bring along your identity card for verification. Even if you are into your 40s or 50s, they will still check your IC before they sell the alcoholic beverage to you.

View of Alcatraz Island from Fisherman’s Wharf. Very bad weather and very freezing cold also!

Many boats docking at Fisherman’s Wharf.

I took the cable car back to the hotel, which is one of the must-try things here. I was really lucky to see the cable car cos I did not have much cash left with me and I would have to walk for another 2 hours to go back. Can you imagine me a petite Asian girl wandering alone in this country so late at night and surrounded by all the big sized ang moh? I think I am getting a little too daring at times though which is good and bad in a way.

This is the end of my day 1 spent in San Francisco. Stay tuned folks for Part 2! 🙂