Dialog - USA 2009

19.10.2009 - 29.10.2009 @ (4 Ansichten)

Our big vacation took us to the West Coast of the United States - arriving in San Francisco, from where we headed south down past Monterey and Santa Maria to L.A. and then over to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and back through Death Valley, over Tioga pass road into Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada up north to the Bay area.

This was the first time back in the US since 1996 for me, and the first time for Isabelle alltogether.

Last day: Trip back

On our last full day we took over from Fresno to the coast, once again travelling on CA-1 towards San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge - this time we were lucky and it presented itself in bright sunshine, for beautiful "been there" photos:-)

Sierra Nevada

28.10.2009 @

Not having made any plans for this day, we took the car and started driving from Fresnp towards the Sierra National Forest. We stopped at Millerton Lake and wanted to go for a hike there, and undertaking we abruptly ended after encountered a tarantulas on the hiking trail. We decided to drive towards more mountaineous regions and thought Mono hot springs sounded interesting (especially because we'd missed out on Mono Lake before). The road there turned out to be even more of an adventure than we had anticipated from the very thin line on the map. In the evening, we even found a Kaiser Pass Road Survival Guide on the internet!


Trying not to get caught by a snowstorm coming up over the west side of the Cathedral Range, we decided not to go see Mono Lake but instead to make it over Tioga Pass Road before it closed and into Yosemite NP. Once we had climbed to the top of Tioga Pass, we left ice-cold winds, fog and first snowflakes behind us and dove into a dark-blue-sky, sunny Yosemite, where we stayed for the rest of the day, stopping at all kinds of scenic locations.

Death Valley

26.10.2009 @

On our way from Las Vegas to our stopover in Mammoth Lakes, we took the tour through Death Valley, turning west after Pahrump, passing Death Valley Junction, Furnace Creek, Scotty's castle and - after a short detour through Nevada - over the White mountains down to Big Pine and US-395.

Grand Canyon

At Grand Canyon West; and the Skywalk glass walkway more than 1'100 meters above the canyon floor - the first time you set your foot on the glass is really awkward and you just hope it will touch ground soon (which it does, of course) - after that, it is actually manageable to stand there and look straight down.

Hoover Dam

25.10.2009 @

En route to the Grand Canyon, we crossed Hoover Dam from Nevada into Arizona (and thus from Pacific time into Mountain time zone).


23.10.2009 @

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" - so goes a famous quote. On the flight towards the U.S. I had watched "The Hangover" - and it didn't get that wild for us:-) Las Vegas is absolutely stunning and it overwhelms you when you get there. You do get used to the glittering, blinking, advertising-everywhere-everything after a while thougn and it's absolutely worth a stay, even if you're not planning on gambling or getting drunk! We had a room for the weekend in the TI Hotel and Casino.

Road trip: Santa Maria - L.A. - Las Vegas

This was the longest of our road trips, leading us from Santa Maria through Santa Barbara county southeast through Malibu, crossing Greater Los Angeles Area (with almost 18'000'000 inhabitants one of the most populous regions in the U.S.), finally turning northeast on to I-15 heading to our day's destination, Las Vegas. This last part gave us a feeling for the wide open areas in the States.

San Luis Obispo

We had planned for two overnights in Santa Maria, so we went out exploring the region, starting with the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and spending a lazy afternoon at Avila beach (about 15 km northeast of more well-known Grover Beach).

Southbound CA-1

21.10.2009 @

Leaving Monterey, we continued southwards on CA-1, a winding road along California's pacific coast. This scenic highway keeps it's promise: Every corner you turn around gives you a "wow!" kind of view. We reached our destination for this day, Santa Maria, where we stayed at The Historic Santa Maria Inn.


21.10.2009 @

After we picked up the rental car at the San Francisco airport, the first part of our daytrip took us down to Monterey, where we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The $30 addult admittance is definitely worth it!

Golden Gate walk

The next day, I proposed to walk through Golden Gate Park and all the way over to the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time we arrived at the latter, it was all covered in a fog patch, which did make for some interesting pictures but at the time was kind of disappointing. Walking back all the way to St. Hyde Pier, we were happy to catch a cable car to Market street. We estimated later from tracing our walk on maps we had walked about 20 km.

Downtown San Francisco

19.10.2009 @

After arriving at our hotel in Market Street the evening before, we were too tired to really go out exploring, so instead decided to have a sandwich, watch some TV and fall asleep. The next morning, starting out with a coffee at Starbuck's, we started walking up and across Nob Hill down to Ghirardelli Square, over to Pier 39 and through the Financial District to SoMa, where we had our first burger in the U.S. inside an American Diner (what else?). It started to rain around 3 in the afternoon, so our tour stopped there and we went back to catch up some more on sleep.