Tuesday, January 22, 2013

San Franscisco Tourists

Besides visiting our cousins, Molly and I spend time being tourists in San Fransisco. Six years ago I spend a day wandering around the city while I was there for a conference.  This time time I really got to see the extent of the city from the crashing waves on Ocean Beach to the street cars along The Embarcadero.

On Saturday we took a passenger ferry into the city and walked along the waterfront.  With beautiful weather we enjoyed the views of the City including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.  I was struck by the similarities between Seattle and San Fransisco such as the old piers and importance of the maritime industry.  I enjoyed riding the street cars and even stopped in the railway museum.  What is most impressive of all is that some of the original street cars have been maintained and are still in service after more than half a century.  The street cars along with the cable cars are such an iconic part of the city even if they aren't all that practical today.

On Sunday we met our archaeologist friend, Mark, who lives in the bay area but has spent a lot of time working with Molly and others in Kodiak.  Mark took us to the best vantage points for the Golden Gate Bridge and then to the west side of the city close to where he grew up.  We caught up on life and shared laughs while eating Sushi as one of his favorite restaurants.

What really topped off our time in the City was stumbling across the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.   This is a must for any Alaskans visiting San Francisco and personally I would recommend it to anyone.  The various ships moored in the national park have fascinating histories and have been beautifully restored and displayed.  By far our favorite ship is the Balclutha also known as The Star of Alaska.  This ship was used in the early 1900's for the transport of fisherman and fish between Alaska and San Fransisco for the Alaska Packers Association.  That was a very interesting and turbulant time for Alaska.  Molly and I recently learned alot about this time in Alaska reading Derevnia's Daughters, a book about a Sweedish man who voyaged on a similar ship from San Francisco to Kodiak in the 1890's.

I look forward to visiting San Fransisco again someday.  It is a great city to explore with with a rich history.

Ocean Beach

Alcatraz and the Balclutha
Caned Salmon Boxes on the Balclutha

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