Friday, September 20, 2013

A Cable Car Day

As I had mentioned in the previous post, we are presently parked within walking distance of the ferry landing.  So our trip yesterday to San Francisco first started out on a 40 minute boat ride.  It was early afternoon then and the sailboats were starting to line up for the American Cup races.  The races were all the topic of conversations yesterday, and we saw a few people wearing tee shirts with the words " New Zealand" printed on them.  We talked to those people and it was their hope that their country would finish up the races that day with a victory.  We later learned that it did not happen!  As you may note from the title of this posting, it was all about cable cars for us yesterday.
We bought all day passes for the cable car and certainly had a great experience feeling the hills of the city, as well getting great views of its various sections; primarily Nob Hill and Chinatown, as well as San Francisco Bay.  In the Nob Hill area we got off to tour Grace Cathedral, an Epicopal church.

The church is the third largest of America's Episcopal cathedrals.  It was built from 1927 to 1964, its construction being inspired by French cathedrals.  We were not going to spend a lot of time looking at the church, but a docent offered to give us a tour. That proved to be a good thing, as without his guidance we would have missed a lot of the artistic and historic features of the church.  In the picture above is the statue of St.Francis, his face having the likeness of Buddha.   The sculpture was chosen as a perfect symbol for the church- a welcoming house of prayer for all people. The circles on the floor to the right of the statue is an indoor labyrinth for prayer and meditation.  The murals on the wall depict the history of the church, the first building was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906.  The blue and red ribbons above the nave are part of the 2013 art project which is entitled "Graced with Light".  On the blue ribbons people have written their hopes and prayers.  Leaving the church we walked over to Chinatown.
What a colorful, vibrant shopping district!  In the store windows and sidewalks are beautiful displays of jewelry, as well as a variety of souvenirs.  There are also large carvings of wood, ivory and jade.  The streets are currently decorated for the Moon Festival, which will be in a couple of weeks.  From here we boarded the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.  After partaking of Ghirardelli ice cream, we boarded one of the last two cable cars of the day.  The first one, the Powell-Mason line is the most popular, consequently we waited about an hour to board.  A cold breeze was blowing off the bay by then, but John was insistent on waiting for the car as it was the only line which we had not ridden on.  The second one, Powell-Hyde Line is also popular because it goes over one of the steepest hills in the city.  I guess I enjoyed the experience- problem was that John and I were standing on the edge of the car, hanging over the street as we went down that steep hill!  Also, I had to flatten myself against John as another cable car coming up the hill whizzed close by us.  I must say that we had a complete San Francisco cable car experience!

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