We started our day in San Anselmo with a matcha tea from Peet’s cafe. It was sweet and delicious and most of all – it had no chunks of green powder in it – the problem we are having when mixing our own supertea.
Then it was time to leave our car with Yann at All Autos repair shop to finally have the squealing front wheel bearing changed. That gave us time to wonder around in the old downtown area of the fast growing suburb of San Francisco. The weather was sunny and warm and the air was filled with the smell of flowers, fresh bread and coffee.
We stopped in San Anselmo by incidence – we wanted our car fixed before downtown San Francisco, we didn’t know how important the place was for the movie history, but we were enlightened – it’s where George Lucas came up with Star Wars in 1973. There is a little park with Obi Wan standing in the fountain next to the city hall, in the memory of that life changing event. Mr Lucas still lives in town and has his own fire station, a ranch and owns half of the town.
The Canadian rust gave the Californian mechanics a hard time and it took them longer than expected to grind through it, so we used the extra hours to check out the library and get ready for our next step – San Francisco.
We read about the gold rush of 1849, the earthquakes and fires shaping the city, the influence of different cultures and the wealth of nowadays tech industries in the area. When we got our car back, we were all set and ready to go!
We knew from the beginning that SF is too big and to diverse to get the grasp of everything. Even the streets are a sight of their own! It took us a couple of hours just to enjoy the steepest streets on Russian hill. A lot of great opportunities to get your legs in shape! As we were walking up we were imagining meeting locals with log-sized legs. We didn’t see any, I guess we should’ve figured, when a cable car conductor said we were crazy going up on foot.
Next up – the waterfront. The piers at fisherman’s wharf are commercialized, so it’s like a shopping mall with a little smell of sea(lions). We got our first taste of freshly caught and cooked crab and we liked it! We saw some street performances and we liked it! We wanted to get on the cable car, but the street was blocked by the police, we didn’t like that. After a bit of walking and waiting we managed to try out the distinctive way of travel in SF. It was a fun ride and hills felt less steep than walking.
As a bonus we spent the next day at the Exploratorium – a hands on Science Centre similar to the one in Tartu, Estonia – Ahhaa. It was really fascinating and huge so we didn’t even get through it all, but if you ever get a chance – it’s worth checking out!
The summary – although we like the outdoors and the nature a lot , San Francisco got us! It is busy fo sure and it sometimes shows in the not so friendly customer service, but the hills and the Victorian architecture, the ocean and the parks and the hippie spirit make it a place we would love to visit again. The same with the surrounding towns!