Riding the Cable Car

14 Sep

After our trip to Alcatraz we decided to hike down to the Cable Car turnaround at Ghiradelli Square near Fisherman Wharf.

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It’s virtually mandatory to take a cable car ride while in San Francisco.

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But no one mentioned how long we would have to wait (two hours!) and how cold it would be (the coldest I have ever been).

Can you see the Golden Gate Bridge in this photo?  Yep, the fog was rolling in with the bitterly cold wind.  Can you see the girl’s hair blowing in the photo?  That’s an indicator of the wind.

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What can you do?

Nothing…if you want to ride the cable cars so we waited and huddled close in our efforts to avoid hypothermia.  We were not dressed for this weather!

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There was plenty to watch…and over the hours I think we saw it all.

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Did you realise that the cable cars can only move forward so they have to be ‘turned around’ at the end of the line so they can make the return trip?

We had chosen the turnaround point of the Powell/Hyde line to embark (which was the reason we had to wait so long) so we saw MANY trams turned.

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You might expect some sort of high tech device to turn the cars.  But you’d be wrong.  Check this out!

Ever so slowly we crept to the front of the line

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until finally we secured seats on the cable car.

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Initially we were led around to the outside seating but with people frantically diving into prime positions the best we could do was get my parents safe seats.  The men chose to stand and hang off the cable cars but I wasn’t permitted the children to do this, although I had seen children doing it.  So I wrangled us seat safely indoors,

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…which was a shame as I would have loved to watch the men hanging off the side of the cable car.  Apparently it was a bit of a hair-raising ride out there.

The only thing I could see was their whites knuckles clutching the poles.

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With the steep incline of the streets you really needed to hold on.  We were sliding along our seats insides and it was all I could do to take pictures and hold on enough to make sure I didn’t squish my poor children against the side wall as we climbed the hills and then rode down the other side.

As you ride down the hill you can smell the brakes burning all the way down and you just pray that they hold because it’s going to be quite a ride if they don’t!  🙂

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The city was even more beautiful viewed from the cable car windows.  The houses are so cute.

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The Powell/Hyde line takes you right past Lombard St but you really can’t see anything aside from cars disappearing over the edge.

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We took the cable car from one end of the line to the other.  It stopped at places along the way but people were turned away as the cars were already at capacity.

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I expected it to be a much shorter ride but it was quite a delightfully decent ride into the city.

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And the perfect part of our trip was that the cable car left us only one street from our home bound bus stop.  That was totally unplanned.  Our cable car ride had been a spontaneous decision and we hadn’t even considered the details of getting where we needed to be to get home.  But we had no need to worry!  We were totally blessed, even when we weren’t looking to be blessed.

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Oh yes I did love the cable cars.  They are as cool as you imagine.

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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Family Events, Field Trips, Geography, US Holidays


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