The Streets of San Francisco
We drove from Tenaya Lodge (near Oakhurst) along the scenic route to San Francisco today. We passed some of the greenest farms I have ever seen. They looked so under-utilised – some carrying only a fraction of the cattle that it could support and had overgrown pasture. There is NO drought out here! We passed a lot of plumb and nut farms (no – not mental asylums) that grew pistachios and almonds. Another glorious sunny day which is my favourite for travelling.
We didn’t get a chance to drop in to San Jose, the home of Apple Computers – may be next time (God willing).
I had an awesome day seeing the rural landscape, but the highlight was driving over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. This bridge is so huge I couldn’t believe it. So much so that the road was convex and as you drove over the rise, San Francisco Bay was right there with the city backdrop (a bit like the start of Inspector Gadget) and… well wow is all I can say. It is a beautiful city and so different from every other place we’d been driving so far. The streets are narrower and the traffic lights (signals) aren’t always clear. The biggest difference is the tracks in the road for the cable cars and trams. We stayed in Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a famous tourist area. You can see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge from there. We didn’t actually get a chance to cross the Golden Gate Bridge, as San Fran was just a stop over this time.
We took a cable car downtown on a very chilly afternoon/evening and walked around the Port of San Francisco. From this point we had full view of the Bay Bridge. Not sure why this bridge doesn’t get much recognition. It is at least 4 times longer than the Sydney Harbour bridge, has 8 or 10 lanes (didn’t have time to count whilst being overwhelmed and negotiating traffic) and has two levels, one coming into the city and one going out. It is an engineering marvel, yet the Golden Gate Bridge is pretty small in comparison and yes – it is more colourful! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a ride on one of the open trams (hop on/hop off like in the movies) and up and down the hilly streets (again maybe next time God Willing).
We ate out at this lovely little restaurant that looked like a bar from the street. However, there wasn’t any descent signage on it (nor any other place) like there is in Australia to actually tell you it is a restaurant. It is all very subtle. On the way home, we took a taxi ride and we got to experience the hilly streets! I am telling you, the ups and downs are huge, amazing and a lot of fun on a skateboard (coming down of course!).