Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Quick Visit to See Fran; A Stopover Lets Andrew Mevissen Find out If You Can See San Francisco in 12 Hours

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Quick Visit to See Fran; A Stopover Lets Andrew Mevissen Find out If You Can See San Francisco in 12 Hours

Article excerpt

ITCOS a long flight from Australia to New York, with 18 hours in the air.

So when I discovered my United flight stopped in San Francisco for a couple of hours enroute to the Big Apple, I asked the airline if I could stretch the layover to 12 hours and yes, I soon had half a day up my sleeve to stretch my legs and discover the city by the bay for the first time. So, were 12 hours enough?

I needed to be back at the airport about 9pm for my overnight flight to New York so, I jumped on the handy BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train direct from the airport terminal to downtown San Fran in 30 minutes, arriving around 1.15pm ready for a busy afternoon.

I came armed with a checklist of things I wanted to see and do during my lightning visit Co ride the cityCOs famous cable cars, cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge, set eyes on the worldCOs most infamous prison, Alcatraz, explore FishermanCOs Wharf and Pier 39 by the harbourfront and squeeze in a workout at a local gym, preferably with a pool, so I could stretch out, limber up and freshen up before my onward flight to New York.

I jumped aboard one of the quaint cable cars near the Powell St BART station like an excited child. And what fun Co slower than I had anticipated but a terrific way to take in the cityCOs quirky charms and Victorian architecture.

Passing Lombard St Co the worldCOs most crooked street, with 10 sharp turns in one block Co my cable car journey ended near the waterfront where I hired a bicycle from Bay City Bikes for my next adventure Co an easy but exciting ride over one of the worldCOs most famous bridges, the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge.

I was on a tight schedule so I began my 13km cycle, which takes roughly 90 mins, from downtown, along a harbourside bike track, over the bridge and on to the pretty harbourside village of Sausolito where a ferry transfers you and your bike back to town. Cycling over the Golden Gate was a real thrill, with the pea soup fog eventually clearing a little so I could actually see the bridge in all her glory. The ferry ride back to San Francisco takes you close to Alcatraz, which was a maximum security prison from 1934 to 1964, housing notorious criminals like mobster Al Capone. …

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