I have never been to the States so my first day in SF was something of an eye-opener. There is nothing like being in somebody else’s country for bringing out the inner anthropologist. The propaganda is that SF is the home of exuberance + extremes – but it all seemed very normal although small dogs are definitely us in San Fran. Cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf allowed for close-quarter observations of the locals. The accolade for coolness going to the harem of sea lions on Quay 39 who were exceptionally chilled, barping happily to each other in the sunshine.
The architecture comes in a heady eclectic mix of the brash + the indigestible, with some down-at-heel + the darn-right boring thrown in for good measure. If your view is into the middle distance then your attention is captured by the self-confidence of the many new glass towers but looking at your feet the crumbling infrastructure of the town is on display. Somehow I hadn’t quite expected everyday SF to be quite so run down.
We paid a visit to Quay 40 the home of Clipper in SF in just a few days time but there was absolutely no clue as to the pageantry to come. On the Clipper website the eta for the lead boats is only a few days hence … difficult to get my mind round the notion that next week we will be sailing. Now seems such a phoney war sort of time … waiting expectant whilst at the same time feeling both impatience + terror + a longing to get started.