Saturday, December 29, 2007

DAY 16 - Downtown San Francisco - 16th Dec

No pictures today because I stupidly left my SD card in my SD card reader, but Megan and Tracey might have some.

I took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Which is like a carpeted metro train. Slightly old now but very one time, as opposed to Sydney trains Unluckily I also ran smack bang into an Oakland Raiders fan. Therefore I shared the carriage with multitudes of rabid Raiders fans and what turned out to be the slowest BART train in history. But and old man tried to give me his seat which was really nice but I was like, uh no thanks, usually i'd be giving up my seat for you. The US is weird, if you're female, men will give you a seat no matter how old they are.

I got out at the Montgomery St station, which is in the financial district. Finally my first proper high rise downtown in 3 weeks or so. I took a turn on Grant Ave into Chinatown. It's a very narrow street filled with kitsch souvenier shops. I purchased some cheap postcards which were cool. San Fran shirts were selling for about 2 bucks each, which begged me to make those bad 2 dollar, 2 dollar jokes.

On every cross street I was amazed at the hilliness of San Fran. This city is like an entire rollercoaster ride, steep dips and steep inclines. It's crazy. I turned onto stockton street which has become the main shopping street for chinese people in San Fran. And boy was it like China. Markets, fruits, veges, meat and lots and lots of Chinese people. The pavement was hard to get through and a couple of times I felt like yelling, move it or lose grandma to the tiny old women in front of me who seem to think it's totally fine stop right in the middle of the pavement and have a 5 hour conversation.

I met up with megan's clan and unsuprisingly had Viet for lunch. We were then driven to the Golden Gate bridge. A monolithic feat of construction, it's narrower than I thought but it's beauty is unparalleled. The huge expanse of the pacific on the west, the expanse of the bay on the east, downtown to the south and the north, the hills of Marin County. We ended up walking 1/3 of the bridge before people decided it was too cold to continue. We then decided we wanted to go ride cable cars and thus got dropped off near Fisherman's Wharf.

With my trusty map in two I directed everyone to the Powell Mason line, we bought $11 all you can ride tickets (considering 1 way is already $5, this was probably a good idea). The cable car is an interesting concept, rickety yet sturdy, it's the rollercoaster carriage working on the rails of San Fran. At the end of the line we ended in the crowded and brightly lit shopping district of Union Square, we then boarded the other line, Powell Hyde, which was much more hilly (if that is even possible) and the views were brilliant.

Went to get Starbucks near the Del Monte Cannery for hot chocolate, then I bid goodbye to Megan and family till New York. I walking around the cannery a bit I decided to get back on the cable car to Union Square. Halfway up Hyde street we had to stop because there was a traffic accident up ahead. Unable to get off or go anywhere we just waited. I guess that's the problem with cable cars, it has to share the same road as normal cars, so if anything gets on the rail it stops. On the cable car I had to stand next to drunk Chinese-Russian gangster and his Russian beauty queen girlfriend. Humanity is the same all around the world.

Ended up having a very unpleasant Burger King dinner at Union Square before heading back on the BART. San Fran is awesome, burger king is however not.

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