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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Day 4: Last day in San Francisco

Today we breakfasted at Lori's diner on Powell Street. This 50s styled diner with its great decor and memorabilia also served up great food. I think I am getting far to used to a large breakfast.

Even Elvis had popped into serenade us.

Today was M's last day in San Francisco as she was flying back to Canada in the afternoon. I was staying on and joining a tour group to see more of Western USA. We just had a couple more hours together and went to have a look at MOMA as I had heard the building is an interesting design.

It was an impressive building. Entrance was $25. I think I'm just spoilt in London as all our museums are free entry. We didn't actually have the time to visit anyway so after admiring the building we continued to look around.

Looking in the opposite direction we spotted an old church amongst the highrise modern buildings. Thinking it was the Cathedral we went to have a look. We walked in and were taken by surprise as the church was packed. Being a Saturday we hadn't expected a mass to be taking place mid morning nor were we expecting a large number of police standing at the back. We crept back outside and discovered that the St Patrick's day Parade was happening today and many of the participants began the day attending mass at St Patrick's Church.

We were very close to the start of the parade so it was the perfect opportunity to have a look  at everyone getting ready for the parade.

A group of Irish Wolfhounds were getting ready to join the parade.

Irish dancing,of course.

Even the police horses had a shamrock painted on their hind quarters.

There were many elegantly dressed folk around.

This lady was patiently waiting for it all to begin.

But it was time for M to collect her luggage from the hotel and make her way to the airport. It was a sad farewell but no doubt we will be meeting up in another unknown, exciting city, hopefully in the not too distant future.

After saying goodbye I decided to have a look at the cable car museum which turned out to be more than a museum. It is located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse. The upper part of the Museum has various tram car items and three antique cars from the 1870s. This overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables.

There are a total of 40 cable cars of which a maximum of 26 cars are in operation on the streets at any one time. Although cable cars have batteries, they do not operate under their own power and can only move by gripping onto the moving cable.

The winding machinery keeps the cables moving at 9.5 miles per hour all day long. There are four separate cables, each a continuous loop that moves in channels under the streets. The cables come directly into the powerhouse from under the street.

Being close to Lombard Street I went to have a closer look at the hair pin bends on what is known as the 'crooked street'. They were constructed in 1922 and were designed to reduce the hill's natural 27% gradient which was too steep for the majority of vehicles.

Quite surprised to see these segways  making their way round all the bends.

In the evening I met the Gadventures group I would be travelling with for the next week.  Our tour leader, a Californian named Stirling, introduced us all. There were just 6 of us from different parts of the world, New Zealand, Holland, France, Austria and the UK. Tomorrow we will be visiting Yosemite National Park.


  1. Isn't it good when you unexpectedly come across a local celebration, as we did with Canada Day in Whistler. The diner looks terrific and MOMA is an interesting building and I quite like it. I would have really liked to see inside what we call, the engine house. The equipment looks quite new. 9.5 mph is quite a speed. I've always thought the 'grip man' would have to be a fairly fit person. We in Victoria, not sure about the rest of the country, aren't not allowed to use segways in public spaces, but some still do.

  2. You made the best of your visit to San Francisco, so much to see there, loved to watch all the pictures.

  3. What a fantastic collection of photos over last few days? I'm sure you have seen everything there is to see and more.

  4. Wonderful! I am so glad you are sharing your trip with your readers. And I look forward to Yosemite in the future. :-)

  5. Oh...you got me really excited with 'Yosemite'

    *wink* look forward to that

  6. Such fun. On one trip, we accidentally happened upon a St Pat's parade in New Orleans ... that was wild! Serendipity along with good planning = lots of good times. Safe and fun travels -- I look forward to western memories seen from your eyes!~

  7. I love that car parked inside the restaurant, and of course Elvis with breakfast -- what a nice touch!

  8. That's nice to travel with somebody who has the same interests !


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