San Francisco: Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge

After the Palace of Fine Arts, I entered the Presidio of San Francisco then walked along a beach to the Golden Gate Bridge, at the northern tip of the park. I walked on the bridge until the halfway point then came back to land and took a trail in the hills along the Pacific ocean.

Above, East Beach.

Above, Crissy Field Marsh.

Above, former coastguard station.

Above, Torpedo Wharf.

Above, Golden Gate Bridge.

Above, Alcatraz Island.

Above, a sea lion.

Above, on the way up to the bridge.

Above, on the bridge.

Above, Fort Point.

Above, San Francisco Bay.

Above, bunkers of Battery Marcus Miller.

Above, Pacific Ocean.

Above, view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Coastal Trail.

Above, on the Batteries to Bluffs Trail to Marshall’s Beach.

Above, Marshall’s Beach.

Above, Baker Beach.

Above, on the De Anza Trail to Immigrant Point.

San Francisco: USS Pampanito, Musée Mécanique, Aquatic Park, Palace of Fine Arts

After the boat ride on San Francisco Bay, I kept walking on Fisherman’s Wharf towards the Golden Gate Bridge. I visited the USS Pampanito, a submarine built during WW2. There is also a Liberty Ship nearby (the SS Jeremiah O’Brien) but I didn’t visit it. After that, I entered the Musée Mécanique, a free museum of mechanical games, some quite old. Most of the machines are coin operated and still operational. I then passed through Aquatic Park and Fort Mason on my way to the Palace of Fine Arts, built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

Above, the sea lions of Pier 39.

Above, Alcatraz Island.

Above, SS Jeremiah O’Brien.

Above, Pier 43 Ferry Arch.

Above, seafood restaurants on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Above, USS Pampanito.

Above, controls.

Above, torpedo tubes.

Above, inside the Musée Mécanique.

Above, Laffing Sal.

Above, Aquatic Park.

Above, on the Aquatic Park Pier.

Above, Golden Gate Bridge.

Above, sea lion.

Above, Transamerica Pyramid.

Above, Fort Mason.

Above, Great Meadow.

Above, Fort Mason marina.

Above, Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.

Abu Dhabi: Corniche, Emirates Palace, Marina Mall & Abu Dhabi Theatre

In December, a few weeks after Dubai, I came back to the United Arab Emirates, this time in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country. It was just a single day layover on my way to Amsterdam but I was able to see a lot.

After I arrived at the airport in the early morning, I took the shuttle bus to downtown Abu Dhabi. I then walked along the Corniche, a pedestrian path along the coast, until I reached the road that leads to the Marina Mall. Instead of going there, I continued along Corniche Road to the Emirates Palace, a 7-star luxury hotel. Part of the hotel is open to all visitors, so I got inside. It was indeed quite nice… After that, I took the bus to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was actually pretty far away. It was a bit of an adventure so I will make a separate post about it later. After the Mosque, I took a taxi to the Marina Mall and had a quick look inside. Then I headed towards the Heritage Village nearby but there was an event for the Volvo Ocean Race so I went in. It hadn’t really started yet so it was not very interesting. I continued on the road, past the Heritage Village, until the Abu Dhabi Theatre. There was a great viewpoint on the skyline of Downtown Abu Dhabi from there. Finally, I walked on the road towards the Etihad Towers but stopped at a café for sheesha and diner until it was time to go to the airport.

Above, the corniche.

Above, the artificial Al Lulu island.

Above, Marina Mall in the distance.

Above, an oil exploration platform.

Above, beach.

Above, Emirates Palace and ruler’s palace.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre and its flagpole.

Above, the St. Regis hotel.

Above, Etihad Towers.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, below the dome.

Above, Gold to go gold vending machine.

Above, the white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Above, Marina Mall tower.

Above, Abu Dhabi Marina.

Above, at the Volvo Ocean Race event.

Above, on the way to the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, downtown Abu Dhabi seen from the jetty.

Above, Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. It was closing just as I came in so I only had time for a few quick photos.

Above, café with a nice view. I had some sort of arabian pizza (manakish, I think), tea and sheesha.

Above, night on downtown Abu Dhabi.

Boat tour in Dubai

For my second day in Dubai, I had booked a boat tour with Yellow Boats in advance. The 90min tour goes through the Dubai Marina, the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab, which is a bit further away. I went on the first tour of the day (9am), so there were not a lot of people on the boat.

Above, view of Cayan Tower from the boat, still docked.

Above, a mosque in construction.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, Yacht Club.

Above, Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Above, abra.

Above, exiting the Dubai Marina.

Above, Jumeirah Beach.

Above, hotel on the Palm Jumeirah.

Above, the Atlantis. We stopped a few minutes for pictures.

Above, Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai in the distance.

Above, Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Above, Persian Gulf.

Above, Jumeirah Palm in the distance.

Above, on the way back to the Dubai Marina.

Above, the artificial Logo Island, owned by Dubai’s ruler.

Above, this is the site where the ruler of Dubai parks his superyacht.

Above, under the bridge that leads to the Palm Jumeirah.

Above, reentering the Marina.

Above, Cayan Tower.

Above, back at the docks.

Dubai: Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Marina & Jumeirah Lakes Towers

After Burj Khalifa and the Emirates Towers, I took the Metro to the Dubai Marina, then switched to the newly opened tram, in order to get to Jumeirah Beach. There were a lot of people there. I walked along the beach for a while, then on the path bordering the canal of the Dubai Marina. I boarded a waterbus at some point. Finally, I made my way to the Jumeirah Lakes Towers, on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road from the Marina, then walked to my hotel near Lake Almas West.

Above, Dubai Marina Metro Station.

Above, tram. I used it to get to the Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Above, one of the buildings of Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Above, Jumeirah Beach.

Above, Burj Al Arab in the background.

Above, the Atlantis, The Palm hotel in the background.

Above, Marina Mall, at the Dubai Marina.

Above, Pier 7.

Above, boarding a waterbus that goes around the marina.

Above, Cayan Tower on the left.

Above, Marriott.

Above, lake in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers area.

Above, Al Mas Tower.

Above, Jumeirah Lakes Towers Metro Station.

Above, view from the 3rd floor of the Moevenpick Hotel.