Hostelling International USA members can now travel with a translator in their ear, thanks to a new discount partnership with CyraKnow, the company that uses iPod technology to help new and seasoned travelers learn the nuances of pronunciation and basic phrases for four major languages in a short period of time.
A new edition of the "511 Getting There on Transit Guide," a free pocket guide to riding public transit in the San Francisco Bay Area, has been released by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). This handy booklet provides colorful maps and diagrams of more than three dozen transit systems throughout the region, as well as lists of popular destinations and directions to reach them on transit. For anyone--visitor or local--seeking an alternative to paying escalating gas prices and driving on the Bay Area's busy streets and highways, "Getting There" is the way to go.
For 11 years the Common Murre Restoration Project has been restoring seabird colonies on a small seastack known as Devil's Slide Rock, on the San Mateo County coast just 15 miles south of San Francisco. The Devil's Slide breeding colony held close to 3,000 Common Murres (Uria aalge) as recently as the early 1980s, but was wiped out as a result of human-caused mortality.
The Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel is now a wireless hot spot! With the installation of a new high-speed satellite and wireless network throughout the hostel, guests can now bring their laptops and surf the Internet for free. The wireless Ethernet even reaches the observation deck at the point, so you can whale-watch while you surf!
Each November, thousands of visitors gather to witness the annual lighting of the original first-order Fresnel lens at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, and to celebrate the anniversary of the first lighting more than 130 years ago. The annual celebration, instituted by Hostelling International more than a decade ago, has become so popular that the California State Parks department now acts as master of ceremonies by inviting the U.S. Coast Guard to switch the lights, and local community and environmental organizations participate as well.