Sunday, May 12, 2013

Planes, Trains . . . What about Cable Cars??

When someone mentions San Francisco, what is the first image that comes to mind?  The Golden Gate Bridge?  Hippies?  The 'Full House" house?  For me, one of the first things I think of is the historic cable cars.  San Francisco's cable car system dates back to 1873, when a man from Great Britain used his father's patented wire-rope technology to develop a new type of transportation.  Andrew Smith Hallidie's cable cars soon became the choice form of transportation up and down San Fran's steep hills.


Another form of San Francisco's public transportation is their trollies, or streetcars.  While the city has a history of using streetcars, the modern system has only been used since 1995.  The unique system includes vintage streetcars from San Francisco, as well as other cities around the country and even the world.  According to Market Street Streetcar's website, just today there are cars running from Birmingham, Italy, San Francisco, New York City, Mexico and Australia - just to name a few.

As opposed to the cable cars, which run on an underground wire cable chain, the streetcars run on electricity from overhead wires.


Built in 1948, the above featured streetcar is #1063 from Baltimore Maryland.  Everyday, as many as 20 streetcars may carry passengers along Market Street and The Embarcadero.  



Remember I mentioned I have some tips for you when visiting San Francisco?










TIP #4: Try out the various forms of local transportation.  So far, I have mentioned the BART, the cable cars and streetcars, WALKING . . . there are also pedicabs along the Embarcadero ready to drive you up and down in a cart attached to a bicycle, ferries and of course, buses & taxis.





Besides the local transportation, another thing I like to observe about new cities that I visit is the architecture.  I particularly love old buildings, but there is just something about city buildings that fascinate me.


The Ferry Building plays a unique role in San Francisco's history.  Opening in 1898, it was the hub of transportation for those arriving by both train and ferry - travelers and commuters.  The 660 foot building was built over the water using a steel-framed structure as the foundation (the largest in the world of its kind when it was constructed).  While it once saw as many as 50,000 people a day come through its doors, it now houses a farmers market 3 days a week, as well as merchants and office building, while continuing to facilitate ferry services.  The building has survived two major earthquakes (one being the great earthquake of 1989), peaks and lows of travel, as well as deterioration and restoration. (Facts are taken from the Ferry Building Marketplace website)


The 245-foot clock tower rising up from the center of the building was designed after the bell tower of the Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain.

The following are just some of the buildings we passed while walking through the city:

TIP #5: Before visiting, do a little bit of research and figure out everything you want to see.  This way you can group your different destinations together geographically and make the most of your time.

To all you mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day!  More vacation photos & tips to come tomorrow!


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2 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos, Kaeley! I am jealous - I have always wanted to go there....maybe some day I will make it!

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