San Francisco

Oakland IS geographically closer to San Francisco, so was an obvious choice for a newbie booking train tickets. But getting across the bay was less easy to said newbies. Thank goodness for some data roaming we’d purchased, and a ferry seemed the best option that appeared – especially considering Kerry’s wrist.  The swelling had come down, but it clearly wasn’t just a sprain. We had phoned the travel insurance company last night and talked over our situation and our plan – if it was still painful tomorrow we’d talk to the Air B&B people and get a recommendation to a local medical centre.

Back to Jack London Square station at Oakland and our departure point. The tracks had to be crossed, an overpass seemed easy. An elevator up one story opened onto the overpass. A man enjoying his own company with a waft of marijuana in the air managed to make some words about the lift at the other end of the overpass not working. He seemed shocked when we seemed to take his advice. Even more so when we asked for his opinion on an alternative as we acknowledged we’re ‘not from around here’.   “Australia, you’re from Australia”, said the sad dark eyes as they lit up brighter than his joint. A friendly thank you and handshake was probably more than he’d received from a white couple for some time.

Everything seems easier on the map, but we eventually found our way onto the ferry and had an enjoyable ride with the locals across the bay.


Bus 31 had a terminus nearby and a payment of $2.50 each got us a ticket to Outer Richmond and our Air B&B. Travelling on public transport is cheap and once over the first nervous steps of how the system works, it’s not a bad way to get around. You meet the locals and get a feel for the city as you pass through the less than touristy areas. Relying on the offline mapping never let us down and we got off at the right stop.

Both of us breathed in when we saw the Pacific Ocean close by, and breathed out big time when we saw the hill we had to lug our cases up towards our new house.  Looking back on the Air B&B website later, the owner does recommend Bus 38 and not Bus 31. Both run close by – one is on the high side and one runs on the low side. We, no, I, chose the wrong one…..  sigh… puff puff puff. rest. Puff puff puff.   It’s flatter if you go the other street said the helpful lady washing her car in the street.

Greeted by our host, it was way too early to move into our room, they let us leave our baggage and we headed back DOWN the hill to catch Bus 31 into the terminus again. A pleasant walk along Fishermans Wharf found us soon near a Hop on Hop off bus spruiker. Not at all cheap, this seemed like a good option to have a real look around the city to let us decide where we wanted to explore a bit more.

Sitting on the open top deck is fun, but seems pretty dangerous with the live cables not very far away.



Normal things happen in San Francisco too. No sign of a movie set made up accident here.





And then just around the corner appears the Golden Gate Bridge – yay



Yes it WAS windy and chilly as we zoomed across. Walking would have been a good option if you had the time.



Some great sights – it’s a big city and a big harbour.







Heads down!




Heads down again!



The zipper moves the central barriers across to change the number of lanes in each direction.



A meal at a Diner ticked a bucket list item I didn’t know I had. No need to do that again.

And squeezing onto the sensible Bus 38 a peak hour for a ride to the end of it’s run was interesting when three young French guys joined us as the oddities to be chatted to. These are generally always enjoyable exchanges.

Once at our ‘Cozy room by the sea’ we found the description was very apt. Sea views, our own bathroom – all very pleasant.