After a week in California, I flew across the country to Minneapolis. On arrival in Minneapolis I checked into my hotel and then headed straight to the Mall of America. A few hours later I left with a few new pieces of clothes that I had picked up for some really good prices.
Rides at Mall of America
The following morning I headed into downtown Minneapolis which unfortunately was filled with construction around the main shopping area and much of the shops were closed. As I had the entire day to myself I decided to walk across from the downtown area to the Walker Art Museum.
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.
Visiting Alcatraz was one of the highlights of my trip. My friend and I were fortunate to get some last minute tickets as I was not aware of just how popular it is and how far in advance it sells out.
Once we arrived at Alcatraz we wandered up the hill to the main prison cellblock. Inside we picked up audio guides and began the self guided tour. Although the tour at times got you slightly lost and was a little boring it did a good job at explaining the key events and history of the Alcatraz Prison.
After a few days in San Francisco I arranged with some of my friends to do a day road trip. Through my travel guide book and messing around with Google Maps I discovered Point Reyes which is around an hour and a half north of San Francisco (or a little more in traffic).
Being a nerd, the main attraction of Point Reyes is that forms a peninsula situated on the Pacific Plate and is visibly separated from from the North American Plate by the San Andreas Fault which runs directly under Tomales Bay.
I spent three days with friends in San Francisco during my stay in California.
On the first of these three days I met up with two friends of mine who work for technology companies. After a tour around a company making autonomous cars we had lunch in at “The Market” which is directly below the Twitter head office. Following this my best mate and I began to walk around the Market Street and city hall area of San Francisco.
In June I took three weeks leave and travelled to the USA and Canada to visit friends who live in various cities.
My trip began on a wet Wednesday morning in Sydney with a 15 hour flight to Los Angeles, followed by a one hour flight to San Francisco. With the exception of getting quizzed about my travel plans by various airline staff and border agents both in Sydney and Los Angeles the trip up with Delta was smooth and after being upgraded to Economy Comfort quite enjoyable.
Landing Side-by-side at SFO
Landing Side-by-side at SFO
On arrival in San Francisco I was picked up by one of my best friends and as I was surprisingly awake we explored the small city area of Redwood City, pretended to be students at Stanford University and had dinner at the headquarters of Facebook where he works.
In late 2016 I travelled to Canberra for work. It was my first time visiting the sheep station that is Australia’s capital city.
Getting to Canberra was an adventure in itself, the original flight I was on was cancelled and then the second flight also got cancelled. In the end I ended up flying on a flight which was due to leave before my original cancelled flight which itself was delayed until after my original departure time. After I arrived in Canberra I caught an Uber to my accommodation in the suburb of Forrest. From there I walked to the centre of the city which is a rather long walk so I rewarded myself with dinner and an Uber ride back to my hotel. The following morning I quickly went to both the old and new parliament buildings before meeting up with my colleagues for a day and a half of work meetings.
My final day in Germany began by being woken to the sound of Worms Cathedral’s bells tolling. After taking a shower in the freezing bathroom of my hotel room (it was more of a B&B) I carefully packed my suitcase and carry-on backpack for one final day of adventure and then the long journey back to Sydney.
Once I had finished breakfast I rugged up as it was a very cold morning and walked through the pedestrian mall of Worms back to the Worms’ Hauptbahnhof to catch a train to Frankfurt. As I walked I discovered a plaque noting the place where Luther had lived during the Diet of Worms.
To get to Frankfurt I had to catch a local service from Worms back to Mainz and then switch to a S-Bahn service. Although the local trains are “relatively” slow I had a good view of the vineyards that make the Rhine area so famous. I switched trains at Mainz’s Römisches Theater station, unfortunately the transfer time between the two trains was around 2 minutes so I did not have time to take a photo of the ruins of the Roman Theatre that the station is built beside.