Tara's Travels travel blog

Alcatraz

Cell Block A - Alcatraz

Me in one of the cells

The seals that live at Pier 39 - they stink!!

Bridal Veil Falls - Yosemite National Park

Yosmite National Park

Me at Yosemite

El Capitan

Half Dome - Yosemite

The Tunnel Tree - the tunnel carved into this sequoia is big...

Me and Ralph (tour guide) beside big sequoia tree

Dogwoods

me beside the roots of a dead sequoia tree


Yesterday we went to Alcatraz - which was much more fun than I thought it would be. We had to get a ferry over - which only took about 15minutes. When we got to the island we had to walk up to the main jail area to pick up our head-sets for the audio tour. The audio-tour went for about 45 minutes and was very interesting. We got to go into one of the cells - and then walked up and down all of the walkways while listening to the history of the place. The time went really quickly!

Today I went to Yosemite national park - it's about a four hour drive from San Francisco so it was a very long day. The bus picked me up from the hostel at 6am and I didn't get back until about 9pm. Yosemite is huge - I didn't actually realise how big it was until I got there. I was under the impression that you could just walk around the park but there's no way you could. The first place we stopped was at Bridal Veil Falls - which was a huge waterfall best seen from far away. We walked to the base of it but couldn't actually take a photo from there as there was so much spray. The water was very icy - my hands went numb within a few minutes! Next stop was a look out from where we could see the Bridal Veil falls, El Capitan and Half Dome. El Capitan is a huge granite cliff which is about 3,000 feet high. The scenery was magnificent, made even better by the beautiful sunny day we had.

We stopped in Yosemite village for lunch and I wandered around the museum and Ansel Adams art gallery - Ansel Adams was a photographer who specialised in taking black and white photos of Yosemite. His photographs were stunning -and very expensive! I settled for buying some big postcards of his work that I'll frame when I get home.

After lunch we had the best bit of the day - our hike to the Giant Sequoias. It was about a half hour hike downhill to get to the trees. The walk itself was very pretty - lots of pine trees, and dogwoods - which is a lovely white flowering tree. I even got to see a few chipmunks! They are so tiny - not much bigger than a mouse really but they look like squirrels. The first of the giant trees that we came to had a tunnel carved through it - the tree itself was dead so you couldn't see how tall it had been - but it was just amazing to realise that the tunnel was inside a tree! Wait until you see the photos of me in it! There was another dead tree nearby - this one had fallen on the ground - the size of the root system was amazing. I tried to get photos of the living giant sequoias but they just wouldn't fit in the view-finder of the camera as they were all too tall (they get to about 100m high)! It's also amazing to think how old these trees are - the big ones are more than 2000 years old!



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