The California Academy of Science is in the Golden Gate Park. In the evenings they offer a special VIP tour – smaller crowds, access to areas not usually open to the public, plus some booze (very little and not well organised – don’t bother to do this if you want to get drunk )
We had to take a cab to get there as the Golden Gate Park was not walking distance from our hotel in Fishermans Wharf, and when we got there it seemed to take ages to get inside – possibly because the people manning the desk for pre-paid tickets & vouchers weren’t sure what they were doing. We did the tour on the Thursday before Halloween and a fair few people doing the same tour were dressed up for the occasion. That made me feel very dull…. but I’m not into dressing-up so it would never have occurred to me!
The drinks part of the evening was not impressive, consisting of a queue of people waiting to be served by just one guy in a corridor… Most people managed to get 2 drinks, but the queuing was not much fun.
The tour behind the scenes was very interesting. We got a chance to go up onto the roof, which has been planted with grasses and other flora, and into some of the labs where specimens are processed (all animal specimens are provided naturally by people finding animals dead on roads etc.); we also got to go into a vault where they keep geological specimens.
After the tour we walked around the Aquarium by ourselves,
listened to a lecture on the history of absinthe, and then went to the Planetarium – our tour included reserved seating. Unfortunately I was still jet-lagged from the flight and time difference, and fell asleep in the Planetarium, so we headed back to the hotel after the show!