Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buena Vista Park - San Francisco

Very beautiful park but word has it is a bit dicey at night. You could truly get lost in here  - but the intricate stairways and multiple paths all lead you to stunning views at the top of the hill.

Stairway through the trees
This is a man-made hill and the drains along some of the walls are paved with marble - marble reclaimed from the headstones of a cemetery that was moved out of San Francisco.

Faint inscription from a headstone
 Bonus: There is an off-leash dog run in the park and dogs are welcome on leash in the entire park!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Touring Mazatlan, Mexico

This is city where cruise ships dock (typically on Wednesday and Thursday) and they know their audience.

A trip into Old Mazatlan on a Monday was incredibly quiet. The Mercado was fascinating and lively, but it was almost too hot to be inside. I did capture a bit of video that gives you a feel for what you can find:

As we walked down toward the waterfront, it was clear that Monday definitely was a slow business day and many things were closed up. We didn’t make it back to Old Mazatlan on either of the days when cruise ships were docked, but I suspect it was a very different atmosphere on those days. On a Monday in “low-season”, it was pretty sleepy and empty. There were a few restaurants open along the waterfront, along with a very over-priced silver store.

From there, we visited the Cathedral – a beautiful and very welcoming structure. Take notice of the lamp posts outside. Inside, the alcove to the right is dedicated to Maria (Mary) and the alcove to the left is dedicated to Jose (Joseph).

Afterwards, we wandered into Zona Dorado (Gold Zone) is also often called "Tourist Zone" on some maps. We visited the Zona twice - once on a day when there was no cruise ship, and once when there was a ship in port. VERY different atmospheres. The day without the cruise ship was nice, most things were open and bargaining went well with the vendors.

When the cruise ship came in, there were more vendors out and about, but we also were pressed more to buy. The pace picked up in shops and restaurants, but things still weren't packed. A number of places had specials running for the cruise ships and the silly tourists walking around with name badges on diverted the timeshare sellers from us. Yeah!

Happy Travels!