John and Diana are traveling around the country with a 37-foot RV and an 18-year-old cat. This is their story.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We took Bart (the metro train) into San Francisco yesterday. As we stepped onto the sidewalks of the city from the station I looked up at the high-rise buildings surrounding us. I could not help but reflect on similar city scenes which we have encountered in the past year. Hard to believe we have been in the cities of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles in that period of time. They certainly all have their own distinctive metropolitan characteristics. Not sure yet if I can easily identify which city I am in, however, by just looking at the ambiance of each city's streets, buildings, and people. John and I have been to San Francisco before and one thing we have never done is ride a cable car. We immediately took one up Powell street to the cable car museum and barn. Of course John had to know how they work! In the cable care barn it is possible to view the machinery that operates all the cable cars for the city.
Cable cars have no motors or power of their own. Each car is towed along tracks by a moving cable. San Francisco has the only operating cable car system in the world. It was fun riding them around the city.Maybe at first a little bit unnerving until we got use to the jerky feeling and clattering noises as we climbed up the steep hills of the city only them to plunge down the same hills rapidly and brake in time for a red light. In those open wooden cars there certainly is not much protection should anything go wrong!
We traveled down to Ghiardelli Square for some hot cocoa. By this time the skies were getting cloudy and a brisk cool wind was blowing. From there we walked over to Fisherman's Wharf and enjoyed the various sights, sounds and smells which emanated from the stores and restaurants of the area.
We took a cable car back up to where we started our trip and met our son Mike at his hotel. He was in town for a game convention. We walked with him to a tapas restaurant, the Thirsty Bear. I am getting a bit braver in trying different foods. I ordered Dungeness crab bisque soup with tangerines and trout with fingerling potatoes cooked in truffle oil. All quite good! We topped off our dinner at Beard Papa, a famous San Francisco place noted for its cream puffs.