Railway links are not in English
Oakland and San Francisco
20. - 23. July.

AMTRAK is operating on a few lines around San Francisco with their special Amtrak California. It is commuter trains using rather new equipment consisting of bi-level cars and new engines (and this one – an GE Dash 9-44 – is brand new, of the type which is well known from freight trains).

My cousin David rushed to pick us in their well used Volvo. Here we are home in his and Maryanns nice apartment a few miles outside Oakland.
Notice the dogs Sunny and Sage, who are watching TV like other people.
David and Maryann have had a hard time to organize the apartment and remove dog hairs, which was quite successful. Now they know it was possible and they expected more visitors later that summer.

From Oakland you can drive to San Francisco across the well known Bay Bridge, use the BART-trains under the bay, or preferable by ship, as we did!

American supermarkets are always interesting to us European. Many industrial stable foods dominate the selections, but in the bigger markets a lot of space is devoted to favourite stuffs like here juice products. Nina found it hard to choose!

Chinatown in San Francisco. Always worth to pay a visit. Surprising with this authentic Chinese folklore. People speak Chinese, the goods are Chinese and the dining is Chinese. The flags are both from Taiwan and from the Peoples Republic. The red one dominates both on the streets and politically, mainly because of the big trade to “Red China”.

The view from Telegraph Hill toward the Golden Gate Bridge almost covered in mist. It is often foggy in San Francisco – mostly in summertime – where the cold current in the ocean cools down the moist air, and the hot air dominates from the inland. There are often big temperature differences between SF and Oakland.

You find a lot of contrasts in SF. Coppola’s corner house inhabited by movie companies and the Transamerica Tower behind with the mainstream business people.

Well returned to Chinatown we do enjoy a wonderful Chinese lunch.

The daughter was rather fascinated by all this China clothes, but the tradesmen and women were rather pushing, which Nina doesn’t like. So it was difficult to decide, but on the second day she found something she could buy.

Second day in SF we split up. The “boys” rented bikes and here we are passing by the trams end station at Fishermes Warf. Their operation along the waterfront has become a great success, and the line was operating museum pieces from USA but also from different European towns.

David and Simon resting on the Golden Gate Bridge northbound to Marine Country. A lot of “soft” traffic used the eastern sidewalk; we should yield a lot to avoid accidents. And should you drop of the bridge, it was a long fall.

Through the small town of Sausalito the sun was shining and somewhere north from the town we turned west into the Tennessee Valley. However we did not reach the Pacific Ocean, because we had to respect a certain time to return to Fishermens Wharf, and again to reach our ferry boat connection to the farewell party with David.

Again onboard the ship, this time with a view to Alcatraz Island, the famous prison island, David, I and Nina visited back in 2001.

And back to Oakland again.

Oakland had its share of redwoods. On the mid day we took a nice walk in a recreational area with the most beautiful trees.

And the hikers should not get thirsty. Water fountains were available; here it is Sunny who shall benefit from the water. She is a little old, and not very fund of hard work. She found any excuse to remind us to return back to the car.

Maryann and David standing with their two beloved dogs.

The last evening in Oakland, after a nice meal, it was time to wonder about AMTRAK again. This time we should board the Coast Starlight, making its way from Los Angeles heading to the state of Washington. The long winding stretch along the California coast together with the priority freight trains gave the passenger train a lot of chances to become late. This evening it was 3 hours late, part of this delay we spent at the railroad depot. People did fall asleep waiting: notice the boy sleeping on the high part of the bench!

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