Seal or sea lion ?
I never thought about the differences between a seal and a sea-lion until I went to Pier 39. The Marine Mammal Center displays some leaflets that you can pick up for information. And I thought I would share my new knowledge with you, or at least those among you who like animals :-)
First of all, when you visit a zoo or an aquarium, the trained “seals” that you see are actually sea lions. Adult male have a sort of bump called “sagittal crest” on their head. Female and young male are light brown, they get dark brown as they grow older.
Some features that differentiate seals from sea-lions :
- ear flaps : all sea lions have ear flaps, whereas seals don’t
- flippers and claws : sea lions have long front flippers without claws, seals have short front flippers with claws
- way of moving : sea lions walk on land whereas seals crawl
Now, why are they so abundant around Pier 39? Well, simply because it is a comfortable place to sleep, because they find enough fish to feed on and because they are safe from their predators (mainly the great white shark and the killer whale).
And one funny fact for all movie fans… the war screams of the Orcs in the “Lord of the Ring” movie was a record of sounds made by young elephant seals !
Having the comfy shoes!
One of the most exciting and best spots in San Francisco is to visit its downtown area. The city is full of travelers and very crouded. You deffinately feel the atmosphere being fresh and friendly. When walking in San Francisco the best part is to have the most comfortable shoes. Do not make a mistake by wearing high heels and feeling uncomfortable. San Francisco is a smaller version of New York and it has an old city feeling.
Soak up the many cultures in San Francisco. It reminds me of New York in that there are so many of them that went into making this city special. Virtually every culture in America is represented somewhere in this city.
Cable cars, Alcatraz, Golden...
Cable cars, Alcatraz, Golden Gate bridge, Lombard st. are all great but the thing that was great for me was walking to all of these places and keeping my eyes open all of the time. All of the neighbourhoods are so incredible that if you arent paying attention with your head in a guide book you may miss something fantastic. Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. It had me in awe from the first glimps I got of it and could find enough footsteps to take it all in. So I stoped, a lot.
The row of Victorian Homes found here in ALAMO SQUARE is called 'Postcard Row' and is one of the most photographed residential areas in America. Bound by Webster, Broderick, Oak and Golden Gate Streets. Having a picnic at Alamo Square Park overlooking the downtown area.