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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Harumi Passenger Ship Terminal (晴海客船ターミナル) is the Tokyo terminal for international cruise ships. It is located in Tokyo Bay at the southern tip of Harumi Island. It has one of the best views on Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge in the city. There is a viewing platform on the 6th floor but it was closed when I was there.