San Francisco: 22 July 2001

Really good day yesterday. Got up and got doughnuts and coffee then got the cable car downtown. Much better this time – less crowded.

We got the bus to Haight and met the walking tour. Saw Alamo Square (Postcard Row) and some beautiful houses, but first we went into a house owned by a man named Richard Reutlinger, who collects Victoriana (I googled him and found this article with wonderful photos). It was weird being in a Victorian parlour in San Francisco. He had some beautiful things, but then took us down to the basement ‘ballroom’ which was filled with player pianos. One was a ‘vianola’ which was a piano and violin, one had stained glass in the doors and recreated a 6-piece orchestra, the last one (that he showed us, he had more) was used in silent movie houses and had bells you could pull for tom-toms, train whistles, etc. It was fantastic.

We had lunch in Alamo Park then got the bus to Golden Gate Park. The whole area was lovely, David got sick of me saying “It’s so beautiful!” over and over.

We changed buses at Golden Gate Park and got another up to the Bridge, through the Presidio, which looked quite wild and smelled of pine trees. The Bridge looked amazing – it was a really clear day – and we walked over it (1.7 miles) and then probably a further 2 miles to Sausalito (the guidebook made it sound like a bit of a stroll, but it was murder). We had a mooch around then sat in a park reading, before getting the ferry back.

For dinner we went again to Pizzelle and I had ‘Aglio e Olio’ which tasted like, as D said, liquified garlic, so I’m sure I must reek this morning. Then we had a look around City Lights bookstore before home to bed.

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