The Leaving of San Francisco
They are still talking about the election result and it's been wall to wall analysis since Wednesday morning. Perhaps what is most shocking is the turnout, even by UK standards, which are not great! In California over half of the possible electorate didn't vote and that's in a state where those that, presumably did vote, were talking about the result right up until the moment we left on Friday. Our theme of contrasts was re-iterated on Thursday.
We visited the Museum of Modern Art in a beautiful new building a few blocks downtown from our hotel and right next to a beautiful and tranquil urban garden, but you've guessed it, with its quota of homeless and distressed right outside the doors and on the garden benches, what price art?
We also rode a tramcar that afternoon and encountered the usual confusing and mis-informed information about timetables, costs and alighting points, was there ever such a city to try and negotiate? To be fair it was quite fun, but returning from Fisherman's Wharf took a very long time, although we had interesting conversations with our neighbours in the queue. On Thursday evening we returned to the wharf for an excellent 'farewell' dinner, which we much enjoyed.
Having packed our bags early on Friday morning, we hit the shops, on what turned out to be 'Veterans Day', although we expected to see some evidence of commemoration events, there was no sign and as the morning went on, more and more people seemed to be hitting the shops. And there were bargains to be had if you were the right size. Not for us, needless to say.
And so on the light railway out to the airport, where British Airways could only afford to pay for three staff on the desks for economy passengers, which led to long waits, for us over an hour. Then there was the 'cattle market' chaos of security, or was it a rugby scrum? Whichever term you choose to give it the overwhelming sense was that it was chaotic and confusing with little apparent order and lots of noise. So unlike our own dear Heathrow which we negotiated in just forty minutes from touchdown to standing on the tube platform.
In all we've been away for forty three days of which six involved significant travel, but writing this on Sunday I think it's fair to say we don't feel jet lagged. It has been a memorable and significant experience. We've met some wonderful, friendly and helpful people, seen extra-ordinary and awesome sights, been present at what might be a significant moment in history and can remove at least two items from our 'bucket list'. Would we do it again? Certainly. Have we a thirst for more travel to far away places, no doubt. Will we re-visit some of the places we've been, probably yes, certainly Australia and New Zealand have much more to offer. So this is our last posting for now, as we return to UK in bright November sunshine, will we need an update from someone about The Archers?