My best mate took some time off work to show me around the Bay Area during my visit to California. On one of the days we didn’t really have much of a plan other than that we may go visit the area around UC Berkeley. After playing around on Google, I stumbled onto the website for the USS Hornet Museum. Not really knowing what to expect, other than some fun exploring an old aircraft carrier, we set the car’s GPS navigation and drove across the bay to Alameda.
After getting slightly lost trying to find the correct parking lot at the Old Alameda Point we entered the aircraft carrier and discovered one of the best museums I’ve been to. Most of the ship is only accessible by tour only and a docent was starting a tour of the ship as we arrived. Over more than three hours the docent took us from the hanger bay, up to the flight deck, through the Island superstructure, the Captain’s quarters and down into the engine room.
Over the course of the tour we were informed of the ship’s long history and its involvement in the Second World War, the Vietnam War and the Apollo 11 and 12 lunar missions.
We spent far longer on the USS Hornet than we initially anticipated and by mid-afternoon we were feeling very hungry so drove up Telegraph Avenue to find food and visit UC Berkeley. Grabbing bagels we walked around Berkeley which was very quiet given it was the summer break. It was also surprising to see a stark contrast between one of the richest universities in the world and the number of homeless people living on the neighbouring streets.
Finally to wrap up the day we headed up to the nearby Joaquin Miller Park in the Berkeley Hills where we admired the view over the Bay Area.