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Published: June 16th 2013
Day in San Francisco.
Just the second time when we don’t need to rush around, repacking, checking out and driving away. We have another day to enjoy San Francisco properly.
We had been told to expect fog here and most people seem to be dressed for chilly weather. What we got was a day of glorious sunshine. No mist – the bridge was clearly visibly throughout the day.
We headed first of all for the cable car terminus to take us up to the top of the city, Nob Hill area. Paid €14 each for an all day ticket and settled down for the ride. Excellent way to get about. We jumped off at the cable car museum but it was closed until 10am so had a coffee at the café across the road.
Museum was really interesting, and especially for engineering trained, Bob. The cable cars don’t have engines, they are actually driven by cables which are constantly running, between the rails, under the road.
Some of the working mechanisms are visible within the museum building as it is also the engine shed which drives the cables. There is a driver who operates the levers
which clamp on to the cable. The conductor at the back is the brake man and also does a lot of ringing of bells to ensure that the driver knows when to go and when to stop.
We had decided to visit Chinatown next and that took some finding as the writing on our map was a bit to small to decipher when standing on street corners. Also the shape of the city is difficult to understand with its grid system which goes mostly up and down hills, seemingly in all directions and with the waterfront round 2 sides.
We never quite got to grips with the layout. Had a walk through Chinatown and bought another elephant for the fireplace collection but having visited Bangkok’s fantastic Chinatown, this one in San Francisco cannot really compare.
We found a rather nice place for lunch. No idea where as we had no idea at that point where we actually were. My spinach basmati soup with sour bread was fantastic and a change from all the fish I have been eating. Bob had a very American bagel with lots of things on top.
We then found our way, via
the cable car again, to Lombard Street and watched cars making their way slowly down “Wibbly Wobbly Way”. A lovely street actually beautifully planted with an exuberance of flowers. Love the buildings which line the incredibly steep hills of this area of the city, some beautiful designs and colours. Not many are very old as most of Nob Hill was destroyed by the big earthquake of 1906.
Then back to Fisherman’s Wharf where we boarded a Red and White boat for a 1-hour trip round the bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and back round Alcatraz.
We were really, really lucky. We hadn’t realised how unusual the gloriously sunny weather was and we had lovely views of the bridge with not a hint of an obscuring mist. It was a bit chilly out on the water given we had no jackets with us and I was wearing a sun top but I definitely had more suntan when we got back than I had had before.
Back at the hotel as the sun went down the temperature also plummeted. I went for a swim and the water was far warmer than the air outside the pool. We went
Downtown for a tram ride before dinner, had a stroll around then caught the tram back to Fisherman’s Wharf again.
Have never seem quite so many “down and outs” as here in San Francisco. Every waste bin you see has someone going through its contents. We were accosted by a really unpleasant one while waiting for the tram back, he was totally out of his head and we were very pleased when the tram appeared. Back on the waterfront we had another fantastic and very fishy dinner then back to the hotel room for a warmup as it had turned decidedly chilly.
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