Saturday, 11 July 2015

Are you ready for the trip to San Francisco?

San Francisco here we come.......early start for us.  In fact all the info. told us to be at the station one hour before the bus needed to leave, but foreign passport holders should arrive at least one and a half hour early, so like the obedient folk we are we left home at 3.30 (poor Neil had to take us) arrived at the station as requested only to find the station didn't open for another hour.......not impressed!! But I was impressed with the beautiful building so had to have a photo shot.

It looked even more beautiful in the moonlight.

actually the station did open after only 30 mins, so we made our way inside thinking that passport control would process us at the station rather than the American road border, but NO we just got on the bus and had to deal with border guards at the border road crossing. It all did not go smoothly there either,  we hadn't got our 'ESTA'   ( we were told we didn't need it for the train), but after completing the documents and handing them back to the stern looking border guards  (no one questions the border guards!), we were back on the bus with the next stop Seattle train station. I am not sure what this looked like from the outside as we just rushed in to make sure we were not late for the train, but just look at the inside..... it was all pristine and white with wonderful decorated plaster ceilings and walls.

Shame you can't see the detail

Our train was waiting all shiny silver and looking very smart. Once on board the steward introduced himself and told us where everything was and the next step of our holiday began.

Double decker train with big picture windows.

What a wonderful way to travel and see some of the huge land areas of America.

You can just see the snow capped moutain
riding through the 22 tunnels that cut into  Oregon's Cascade Mountains that are surrounded by millions and millions of pine trees....just breathtaking.

You just can't get the vastness in the photo

At meal times we were told that the train had limited space so we would be seated with other folk - so why not be friendly and chat with your table companions - and that we did! We met some very nice and friendly people, some travelling as we were, some working and choosing the train over the plane, and some visiting family.  It truly is a great way to relax, see the country and meet new people.  The Parlour Car had a bar which offered wine tasting, internet and even movies for those that tire of the view.......who would do that?????

Relaxing in The Parlour Car,
Our hotel in San Francisco had a similar friendly feel and to make it more friendly each evening all guests were invited to the lounge for wine and canapes. Such a change from most hotels where everyone rushes to their room or if they do sit in the lounge where eye contact and chatting is very rare.

San Francisco is a fantastic place to visit and it seems we were very fortunate with warm weather.  We did the 'Hop on - Hop off' bus which gave us a good idea of things that we really wanted to see.  We enjoyed the famous bridge and the wind that whips across it.

We had a fun time at Fisherman's wharf, and of course had to indulge in the famous Chowder in Soda Bread

Chowder or Beer first..... Big decision.

and China Town was very interesting, with many shops packed with curios.

Walked up and down the hilly streets

and finally called in  for a foot massage after all the miles we walked

We needed this.
We didn't manage to ride the famous cable cars, they were much too crowded, but did manage a photo of one that was not in service.

We spent our final day looking around Grace Cathedral, the cable car museum which was fascinating, and finally looking around the famous stores like Maces, Sacs of Fifth Avenue and Tiffany's.

Union Square surrounded by famous shops

We caught the train back to Seattle and once again had a wonderful journey.  We feel it's the perfect way to travel.


As you probably gather I loved this journey and am so pleased we did it. 


  1. As in your lovely country the train is the way to go. We just don't have as many options but that north/south corridor of the Pacific is awesome!:)

  2. I loved San Francisco - your train trip looks fantastic. I may have a plan forming.....

  3. Looks lovely especially your hotel. I love train travel - you see so much.

  4. Looks like you had a really great time. I could do with that foot massage right now! Xx