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Oakland 2011

The main focus of my visit to the San Francisco bay area was to see the usual tourist sites and do some freestyle exploration. I was only using Oakland as a base because it was cheaper to stay in a clean, decent hotel there and commute to SF by BART. And with my germaphobia and cleanliness obsession, staying in decent hotels is non-negotiable. However, I couldn’t end my trip without spending at least a day wandering around Oakland itself.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that visiting mosques in far flung places is a now a minor hobby of mine on my travels. Luckily, there was a big Islamic Center (American spelling – yuck!) just a 15 minute walk away from my hotel. So off I went. On arrival I decided to take some photos of the exterior. Within minutes an angry old man, with a Middle Eastern accent, rushed out of the building demanding to know “WHO do you work for?” He accused me of being an agent of either the FBI or the Iranian regime. I’ve had some weird welcomes at mosques in the past, but this was in a league of its own. As it turns out, once I went inside, one of the mosque Directors recognised me and vouched for me not being a government spy.

The Islamic Centre of Northern California
The Islamic Centre of Northern California. Not particularly impressive from the outside, but it is MASSIVE inside
The Islamic Centre of Northern California
OMG!!! 1001 Inventions posters inside The Islamic Centre of Northern California. What a nice surprise.
The Islamic Centre of Northern California
The Islamic Centre of Northern California
The Islamic Centre of Northern California
Prayer Hall inside The Islamic Centre of Northern California.
Alameda County Court House
Alameda County Court House, sitting on the banks of Lake Merritt.
The Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland.
The Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.
Wildlife at Lake Merritt.
Wildlife at Lake Merritt.
Wildlife at Lake Merritt.
Wildlife at Lake Merritt.
Wildlife at Lake Merritt.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA.
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA
Gondola, Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA. Wasn’t expecting to see a Gondola here!
Gondola, Lake Merritt
Gondola, Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Lake Merritt, Oakland
Children's Fairyland, Lake Merritt
Children’s Fairyland, on the banks of Lake Merritt. Turns out every adult MUST be accompanied by a child, so they wouldn’t let me in!! 🙁
Children's Fairyland, Lake Merritt
Children's Fairyland, Lake Merritt
A cathedral in Oakland, CA.
A cathedral in Oakland, CA.
A cathedral in Oakland, CA.
Veterans' Memorial Building in Oakland, CA.
Veterans’ Memorial Building in Oakland, CA.
Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
The gorgeous Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Restored to all it’s former Art-Deco glory!
Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
Fox Theatre in Oakland
The famous Fox Theatre in Oakland. Restored to all it’s former Art-Deco glory!
Fox Theatre in Oakland
Uptown bar in Downtown Oakland.
Uptown bar in Downtown Oakland.
BART train, San Francisco
The BART train (Bay Area Rapid Transit) takes me back to SFO as my time in San Francisco comes to an end.
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