Monday, October 27, 2014

Landmark in the City - Cable Cars

Cable Car - Powell St by roland luistroAside from the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the cable cars are icons of San Francisco. When you see a cable car, you think of San Francisco.

This is why you see it in postcards, in fridge door magnets, key chains and holiday ornaments. Even though I've been a long time resident of the city, it is always a joy to ride the cable car.

My mom is in town for a couple of weeks so I've planned a well paced site seeing around the city. A ride on the cable car is on the top of the agenda. In fact, this was the first touristy thing my mom did in the city.

From our neighborhood, the Powell St. cable car depot is a short ride on BART. I planned our cable car ride at 11am in the morning. When we got out of the BART station, there were already people lined up waiting for the cable car.
Cable Car - Waiting in Line

First, I got my mom a Muni day pass since we will be getting on and off and then back to Powell St. on the cable car. It would be cost effective to get a Muni day pass instead of paying each time. There is a ticket kiosk next to the cable car selling cable car tickets. You can also pay cash while on the cable car.
Cable Car - Turning cars

The line went fast and we suddenly found ourselves near the front of the line. The Powell St. line has two destinations. One goes to Fisherman's Wharf on Powell St and then ending on Taylor St. The other one goes to Hyde St. and the ride ends near Ghirardelli Square. These destinations are marked on the front and top of the cable car.

Cable Car - Depot

We decided to board the Hyde St. cable car which goes to the corner of Hyde and Lombard Sts. near the Crookedest St. I also wanted to take my mom to Ghirardelli Square so she can buy some souvenirs and chocolates.

Cable Car - Stop

The ride on the cable car is pleasant. Seat on the front on the right side to see downtown. The left side will give you the Tenderloin view from Powell St.  To admire the steep hilly street, get on the back side of the cable car. My mom and I sat on the right front side of the cable car. People can also hang on the side while the cable car is moving.

Cable Car - Skyline

It is such a joy to hear the bells of the cable cars. Be ready to take pictures when another cable car passes by. That is always a site to behold. I enjoy this part whenever I show out of town family and friends.
Cable Car - Another Cable Car

The Hyde St. route goes through parts of the Nob Hill neighborhood of the city. I so wanted to live in this area when I was new in the city years ago. This route also stops near the Cable Car Museum and also on Lombard St. near the Crookedest St. My mom and I got off on that stop to check out The Crookedest St.
Cable Car - Nob Hill

After we checked out The Crookedest St., we got on another cable car to continue to our main destination, which is Ghirardelli Square.
Cable Car - Van Ness Powell Outbound

To go back, either take the same route and get on the cable car near Ghirardelli Square on Hyde St. and Beach St. Another way is to catch the cable car on Taylor and Bay Sts. Both routes go back to the Powell St.  cable car depot.
Cable Car

Since Mijo and I have a Muni monthly pass, we get one the cable cars for free. We take the cable car when we go to the area near Mark Hopkins Hotel, The Fairmont Hotel and the Grace Cathedral. 
Cable Car

Cable Car

Here's a picture of a cable car on Hyde St. going back to Powell St. The Alcatraz Island is on the background.
Cable car

Although my mom and I didn't try this, there is another cable car line on California St. This line ends on California St. and Van Ness St.
California St.

Here's an old picture I took in 1996 when I was site seeing in San Francisco.
Cable Car

Here's another one I took years ago while meeting friends in Nob Hill for dinner.
Russian Hill

Cable cars can also be motorized. Though I find the real cable cars more romantic that these ones. This one I took during the Chinese Lunar Parade years ago.

My mom seemed like she immesely enjoyed the cable car ride. Maybe my mom and I will try it again before she goes back to Manila.


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