As is the recurring theme of this blog, our arrival at every new place is characterised by immense tiredness after a far from ideal journey. Don’t get me wrong, there’s something exciting about travelling by night. You put your earphones in and feel the hum around you of whatever vehicle you happen to be taking, be it plane, boat, train or coach.
But, please picture in your mind a map of California and Nevada before I list the mainstops on our 18 hour Greyhound journey from Las Vegas to San Francisco: Vegas, LA, Fresno, then Oakland to San Fran. Of course, the fitful night of being disturbed from our uncomfortable doze every couple of hours by the loud bus announcements, and the man beside me’s hat falling off, was worth it when we started crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge towards the city itself.
When long journeys are over you can sometimes barely believe you’ve reached your destination. What made this arrival more surreal was that it was St Patrick’s Day, and apparently the Market Street parade through the city is the third largest in the world, after those in Dublin and New York.
Our usual bargain-basement hotel was characterful, we supposed, with a 1920s heating system (the owner explained that this was why it was incredibly cold). She didn’t mention that the wiring and plumbing was also of the same era. But we didn’t care. We were in the city we’d been looking forward to for months, and it was ours for the taking.
There was so much to do, from the classic sights of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, to walking in the footsteps of the Beat Poets in North Beach and sampling the fantastic food available at every corner. Omelettes, burritos, blueberry pancakes, bagels, sour dough sandwiches, patties. The food was fabulous!
Here are some photos of the best bits…
The clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf:
The gorgeous architecture of Alamo Sqaure and surrounding areas:
The friendly police (unless you’re speeding):
Alcatraz – the island with many past inhabitants:
Of course, the Golden Gate Bridge: