We had a ”little” detour on our way to Kerpa, we left Lagos, Portugal the 18/4 and flew to Stockholm were we enjoyed a fantastic spring weather.
That allowed us to have a nice picknick enjoying
A home-made shrimp sandwich in the sun and a cup of tea. ”Smashing” as the Brit’s say I think?
A stroll along the sea side
Behind the City Hall of Stockholm
Celebrating my fathers 90th birthday with my brothers and the rest of the family. I think my father looks rather OK given his age and that he fell a year ago and broke his neck and become totally paralysed, could not scratch his own nose. Now he can stand up walk a few steps, and the best of all take a Swedish Snaps when ever he likes, I think that has been the main motivating factors for him to train, At the nursing home they say he’s unique. I agree!
Over the pond
Norwegian has a low fare flight between Stockholm and San Francisco and as I always wanted to go there we decided to take the opportunity to go to San Francisco and explore the neighborhood.
Of course, we had to take the train across the steep hills towards Fishermans Warf
See the sea Lion
The fishing boats
And of course take a looooong walk to visit the Golden gate bridge
We ended up doing over 40.000 steps so our feet was really aching, but it was worth it
As there are many beautiful areas to explore
Kerstin with the Golden gate Bridge in the back ground and facing the chilly wind from the Pacific, it was a great experience.
Next stop was…
We had rented a car that we were supposed to pick up at the airport, we had landed at the Oakland airport and we assume there was only one airport. We dragged all our heavy luggage (three weeks trip and a lot of stuff for Kerpa) through the streets of San Francisco down to the subway. A train came in as we entered the platform and luckily the sign showed clearly that it was for the airport, quickly aboard and a deep breath now we could relax. After ca 15 minutes we both look out and conclude this was not the way we came in, we quickly came to the conclusion that it must be more than one airport in San Francisco. We took all our luggage and went of the train as we were heading towards San Francisco airport, the wrong one. Luckily rather quickly it came a train on the other side of the platform, so we step on to that train. After having passed several stations Kerstin ask me, are you sure you rented the car at the Oakland airport? Well I felt rather stupid and after a few minutes I found my booking and of course we were on the way to the wrong airport, the car was booked at the San Francisco Airport. Quickly of the train and this time we had to wait rather long before the right train came. Much later than expected we sat in the car on our way towards Yosemite. The landscape was very beautiful, a lot of very green rolling landscape it became a very nice trip by car.
The next day we were up very early and went to The Yosemite National Park, there was supposed to be a buss to Glacier Point from where one can walk back ca 12 km to the car in a very beautiful surrounding. To our surprise the road has just opened for the season, but was not cleared from falling rocks etc so no buss. They have winter in California and some roads are then closed during the winter and I who thought there is always summer in California. We Europeans often complain that Americans do not know much about Europe, as example they often mix up between Sweden and Switzerland, but there are so many things we European do not know about USA, so I think we are more or lesson pair.
Newer the less, we have learned a lot about California. And that aside we decided the hike up above the Yosemite Falls a trip of 12 km does not sounds that long, but the elevation gain is over 800 meters and the trail ends at over 2000 meters above sea level, it takes it toll from an “old” man like me.
Up there we go
It is steep and not always kind surface to walk on.
But a beautiful trail to walk.
Very rewarding to be at the top. Then one think that going down should not be so tough, well my toes was very sore already half way down, the last kilometers was painful. But all in all, a very rewarding day.
After the walk we went to a new hotel to visit the
another fantastic National Park in California. There is a road along the valley you should not miss to travel, it is fantastic. Below follow a number of pictures without any text as they speak for themselves
This is bear country, so it was with some anxiety we walked about, but the closest we got to a bear was
Some fresh bear dropping we believed, whatever, close enough we thought, but it was fantastic to walk around among this beautiful creeks.
Sequoia national Park
No rest the next day we visited another amazing National Park in California the Sequoia N.P. with its enormous threes.
A small sequoia tree that fell down some time ago
A bigger one, this is severely burned, we saw large areas of forest that was burned down, but these massive trees survive most fires, without forest fires they would not exist.
An even bigger tree, the strange thing is that they grow very close to each other on very thin soil about a meter thick, the roots spread out just under the surface so they have to compete for the same water and nutrient and that at an elevation of around 2000 meters. Many of these big trees are 2-3000 years old, so they have survived a lot of forest fires.
As one can see they grow very close and
Get very big
The largest of them all the 81,5 meter tall “General Grant tree” diameter at 1,4 meters height is 8,8 m, and at 55 m height the diameter is 3,9 meters, total volume is 1320 kbm. Massive!
Further down in the valley it become green and the park offers many trails
Kerstin on the “Angels falls trail”
One must be very careful when walking sometimes the trail is very narrow as seen, there are several 100 meters before one reach the bottom of the valley, if one slip and fall, it would definitely be the last thing one did.
A long drive that took us to Grand Canyon, this time the landscape was less appealing, first mainly mono culture, wine, orange or avocado it looked as, then came the dessert landscape very monotonous.
Well the next morning we woke up to a surprise
It is snowing!!!!
It is cold
And not much visibility what a disappointment.
Will this be the only thing we will see of the Grand Canyon?
Well we decided to stay a day longer, and we were rewarded the next day offered fantastic weather.
We got a fantastic view over GC and the Colorado River.
But still some remains of snow, I did not expect to see cactus’s and snow together.
Could not either imagine that it has been a uranium mine on the steep slope either
The first explores was very brave, traveling down the Colorado river without knowing what was waiting around the next bend, it could be a violent rapid or a fall. Tough men!
Our trip continued this time to a place with a different target group
We stayed in Las Vegas for two days, and we both concluded that it was at least one day to many, not our cup of tea, we prefer to have a cup of tea out of a Thermos jug rather than sipping wine in a rather artificial environment, but luckily, people have different preferences else all beautiful spots we seen so fare would have been equal crowded as Las Vegas.
One can find New York in Vegas
As Venice with canals and plazas
Both photos are indoor, the “sky” was rather amazing
Rather fancy corridors
The hotel The Venezian has 3000 rooms, it was a long que at the check in all day, but still fast and efficient.
Final stop before seeing Kerpa again was Philadelphia
With its old historian quarters
But maybe most known for the Liberty Bell https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_Bell
If you want to know more about Liberty Bell click on the link above.
There are plenty mural paintings to enjoy as well as a
Beer in a relaxed out door bar.
We visited the Amish village not far from Philadelphia, but there we could not enjoy a beer.
Next stop Kerpa, but that will follow later enough now.
As she was fare from ready