Four intrepid travellers set out over a week ago and this is the first, quite belated post – but we have been busy! We arrived @ San Francisco (38°N) in the early afternoon, only to spend about 21/2 hours getting through immigration and customs in the airport – one of the longest, slowest queues in creation we all decided, though good humour for the most part was maintained…. We acclimatised to the cooler weather and the time difference by doing a lot of walking and revisiting old haunts with a small amount of shopping thrown in. I couldn’t resist the paparazzi dogs near Union Square – little did I know the bronze statues are on loan from Australia until May this year. We formed our own small two person band of paparazzi as we recorded our walking trip from our hotel to Fisherman’s Wharf and later around some of the streets with the gracious old (mainly) wooden buildings of San Francisco’s (very) steep streets.
One of our four was pleased to see an historic (but still able to sail) war ship tied up in the Fisherman’s Wharf area and spent time going over the ship while the rest of us waited and chatted with the volunteer guides shoreside gathering up information too. Amongst other wartime experiences the Jeremiah O’Brien went backwards and forwards to Normandy for the D Day landings, the marks on her side are from the noses of the landing ships banging on her side. She went back to Normandy for the 70th anniversary crewed by volunteers (among others I assume!) – and their average age was 71. Not bad going. The iconic cable car was running on the day we visited but was under maintenance for several days afterwards so we were lucky to be able to watch one turning around on its turntable at the Fisherman’s Wharf terminus and then ride back to our hotel on it.
We took advantage of the fine weather to take the ferry across the bay to Sausalito and sampled clam chowder there as we did at Fisherman’s Wharf, passing Alcatraz on the way. Spring flowers were everywhere and this local park had a brilliant display. I’m not sure what the installation is meant to represent but to me it mirrored the shape of the yacht sailing behind it – very apt given the number of vessels in the local marinas and the seemingly few sailing by!
Next stop – Yosemite!