We have decided that the best way to see the city is to walk it. It’s another misty/foggy day due to the unseasonal warmth in the air. Apparently it still hasn’t snowed on the mountains and this is the third driest winter since records began but listening to the pundits on Fox news it has nothing to do with the fact that The States is still burning too much fossil fuel. “We really don’t need energy tariffs – keep the market free” etc etc. All I can say is that there may be a lot of tears shed if the waters rise too far on the three sides that surround the city of SF. Most of the very valuable freehold is built at sea level from reclaimed land. This comes very clear to us as we descend the hill from Union Square across Chinatown (it looks a little less garish in the daylight) through Little Italy past the heights where we find The Coit and down to Fishermans’ Wharf again.
We decide against taking bikes and decide to walk the seafront, through the Park and up to the Golden Gate Bridge. We hope the mist might rise so that we can get a view today. We walk but it seems that half of SanFrancisco is either running, cycling or walking packs of dogs through the Park. We have been told that there are more dogs than children in San Francisco and I can well believe it.
We pass the old Forts, little harbours and yacht clubs, beaches and reclaimed sand dunes that the city is hoping might do something to stop flooding in the future. City surfers brave the cold to surf under the bridge.I manage to take too many photos of Alcatraz as it rises from the mist and we get some tantalising pictures of the Bridge as it too appears from the gloom. Close up it really is a magnificent sight and a brilliant feat of engineering. Huge cargo ships are dwarfed as they pass underneath it. But it is actually starting to drizzle and we decide to get back by tram and bus. $2 gets us a ticket across town during the rush hour with a change somewhere on the way. We couldn’t get lost if we wanted to. Everyone wants to help and to engage in conversation. Even so the packed tram and the seemingly convoluted journey seems to take an age. Marilyn is sure we could have walked the journey quicker.
I still haven’t ridden a cable car – maybe tomorrow morning – or maybe I’ll leave it as something I have to do the next time we visit SF because tomorrow we head South by car to Clint Eastwood’s Carmel. And that is a whole different adventure.