Friday, July 30, 2010


We made a decision to head for Portland next. The coast has been awesome, although the Pacific summer is not exactly warm. Temperatures all the way down to 100C makes even a Norwegian summer seem warm. We drove the last bit of highway 1 until it merges with a slightly faster highway 101 and enjoyed the ride. We stopped in a charming little town called Florence on the Oregon coast for lunch (delicious and highly recommended clam chowder) and a stroll in old town.

After almost staying in Florence for the night, we finally got to Portland before dark and checked in at Jupiter hotel on the east side. A very original hotel, with a friendly and unique vibe, we absolutely recommend checking this place out when in Portland. We ate a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant and then had a great night out listening to a live band, also at the hotel.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Wood Forest

We stayed in Point Arena for two nights, just relaxing and doing nothing much. We didn’t really have a plan for the next stretch, we just headed out on highway 1 again, and drove for some hours. The views were still beautiful, both towards the sea, and inland. Before leaving California, we passed the Red Wood National Forest and drove a short while on a scenic road through a part of the woods. Definitely worth the detour! We passed the state line to Oregon and checked in at a nice hotel by the sea for the night. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wharfmaster´s Inn

We had a hard time deciding whether or not to stay an extra day in San Francisco, but then finally decided to go for a relaxing stay in Point Arena, which is a 4 hour drive north of the city. After checking out the Golden Gate Bridge (the photo does not do it justice, it was very foggy), and stopping several times an hour to admire the view over the Pacific, the ride actually took about 10 hours. We drove the highway 1 all the way. We had booked a room at Wharfmaster´s Inn, an oceanview hotel situated right at the shore, and were ready to kick back, and enjoy the silence.

San Francisco, Day 2

We started the day with a walk down Haight Street and continued to the Castro district. From there we walked further to Mission district, which is the oldest district in the city. It is mainly a Hispanic neighborhood. We stopped for great quesadillas for lunch, and took a bus to Fisherman’s Wharf. This is the centre of tourism in town, but still nice, and we got the first glance of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. After a little shopping we waited in line for the cable car to take us downtown. This was a fun experience, almost like taking a rollercoaster through town, and something you just have to do when in San Francisco. Downtown was as it is in every major city, loud, full of people and stressful. We took a quick look around and headed back to Haight Street, and were even more appreciative of its originality.

San Francisco, Day 1

We woke up early to get the most out of the day. The Red Victorian Inn was run by the nicest old lady, who started the hotel back in the 60´s. Every room had its own character and theme. We got breakfast in the Peace café downstairs, and ventured in to the Haight district, which is the old hippie district. It was the centre for the hippie movement in the 60´s.

We walked along the Haight Street, only to discover that we were the only early birds there. Shops don’t open before 12 or later. We waited a bit, and as the shops opened, the street was filled with people, luckily not all too touristy. Some of the weird shops make you wonder how they keep in business at all. The atmosphere in Haight is nice, and very different from what we have seen so far. We spent much of the day just walking around the district, taking in all the impressions. For lunch we picked some tasty organic food from a local store (a lot organic stuff here), made some sandwiches and headed out for a picnic in the Golden Gate Park. The park was nice, and very big. As the night fell, the charming Haight Street showed a little more shady side, and even though there is a lot less peace and love going on there now, it is still a cool neighborhood to stay in.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Road Map

Vis større kart

The route we actually took from New Orleans to San Francisco.

Highway 1

We woke up to ocean fresh air and California Highway 1 ahead of us. After the best breakfast we`ve had on this trip at a local café in Cambria, we headed out for a ride up the beautiful California coast. We passed Big Sur, which is claimed to be the most beautiful stretch along the Highway 1, but in our opinion, the whole way from Cambria to San Francisco was absolutely amazing. The road follows the shoreline and sometimes descends all the way to the sea level, and then climbs up over a hundred meters. Many view points along the road made this originally 5 hour trip to a 10 hour trip. We arrived in San Francisco at night and checked in at the Red Victorian hotel in Haight st.

The Pacific

We checked out, ready to leave the hot desert city and head towards the coast. The first part of the drive was excruciatingly boring, but as we drove past Bakersfield and further towards the ocean, the landscape changed from dry desert to foggy, hilly winery country with beautiful views. As the sun set, we finally reached the Pacific coast, and got our first glimpse of the ocean. We made it!

As we had not really planned where we would stay for the night, we drove around in the dark until we finally found a charming little town called Cambria. The locals were very helpful in giving us directions to motels by the sea. We got a room just a stone`s throw from the shore, and were more than ready to turn in for the night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sin City

On our way to Las Vegas, we drove endless desert highways, crossed the Hoover dam, and got to feel what about 48 degrees Celsius feel like. As we arrived, we checked in at The Mirage on The Strip. First impression was...well, Vegas is Vegas, and you have to take it as it is. Hords of people everywhere, grannies sitting by the thousands of slot machines, neon signs each trying to be bigger and and brighter than the other and everything is designed to please your every need - however unnecessary.

Despite the citys shallowness, we had a blast, and Las Vegas just has to be experienced, however tacky it is. And as for the rest, as the saying goes: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Grand Canyon and Flagstaff

Just off route 66 there is a small town called Flagstaff. Situated just below some mountains this town is often used as a entry point for the Grand Canyon and that is why we came here. Grand Canyon is a little over an hours drive away and we got up early to get a good start. After arriving we spent a couple of hours walking around before we sat down for a nice meal at the Bright Angel Lodge. Then we headed down the Bright Angel Trail. We were warned, repeatedly, to not set off on a longer trek down the trails of the Grand Canyon. The temperatures further down easily get as high as 45 - 50 c on a summer day like this and can result in fatal dehydration if you are overly ambitious, so we decided to make a short trip down the trail and then head back up. 

Later in the day, back in Flagstaff, we headed to a local diner. Its was Rockabilly night and the place was packed with people dancing swing and listening to rock classics from an old jukebox. We ordered some hamburgers and wings with some of the best milkshakes ever. A great meal and and a fun night later we turned in for the night.