I am pleased we decided to “go to San Francisco”, it was a welcome break albeit a very chilly one.
Despite being summer, it appears that they have a kind of retro winter at this time of the year so the gear that we thought we may have needed in Skye has had a good workout here.
The airbnb we have in Union St in the Russian Hill district has been excellent, handy to most things but far enough away from the CBD that you can distinuigish the city from Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne or any other city in the World.
The urban architecture is very cool with the new buildings being blended into similar styles to the older Victorian houses. Many are wooden just like back in NZ and there is a strong similarity to Wellington, the old houses of Mt Victoria, the hills (not as dramatic as Welly) and the wind and temperatures (every bit as dramatic as Welly).
We had a good workout on Sunday covering around 22km of the central city on foot. This included an excursion into the Tenderloin area of the city which is apparently not a place for visitors. However, in the process we learnt about the serious homeless problem in the City and the work of the Glide Memorial Church with the homeless. While the area may have been a little rough, in it’s own way, it was not as tacky as the waterfront areas we visited earlier in the day, it was genuine whereas the other stuff was pretty fake.
The trip has not gotten off to a great start. I did not travel well on the plane, had a stiff neck when I left and at the moment it is extremely stiff, not looking forward to the Amertdam leg. My beloved camera that I chose to bring has thrown in the towel already. A sticky aperture blade which essentially means that every picture is unusable. So we are back to an iphone again. Given that it is so early into the trip I may have to “shell out” for a new camera.
Despite the neck, we rode the bridge today. It was freezing and foggy until we dropped down into Sausalito on the other side. We continued biking to Tiburon which was a massive contrast tb some of the places we had walked around the day before, country clubs, unbelievably expensive real estate but thankfully very polite drivers which was appreciated as we had to share the narrow road for much of the way.
After lunch and a sit in some much welcome sun, we caught the ferry back across the harbour past Alcatraz, dropped off the bikes and dragged ourselves back up Russian Hill. There are not a lot of Vodka swilling Russians dancing around the streets, apparently there was a Russian cemetary on the top of the hill which is how the name came to be.
There is a gopro video of the bridge ride below. It is not great, the bike was not conducive to my attachments so you will see the satchel attrached to the handele bars appearing in the movie.
The biking was a good warm up for the coming month, Ruth is pumped and after tackling the hills today she yelled “bring on the Netherlands, I can cope wioth anything the Dutch and Belgians want to throw at me”.