Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Lombard Street, Traveling in San Francisco, California
Lombard Street, famous (incorrectly so) for being the crookedest street in the world. In fact, it's not the steepest or crookedest even just in San Francisco. No matter, it is known and photographed as such. The steepest street in San Francisco is Filbert with a slope of 31 1/2 % grade, while Famous Lombard Street is only a 27% grade. Vermont Street in San Francisco claims to be more crooked, while Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa has yet sharper turns.
Lombard Street, San Francisco has 8 hairpin turns that attract tons of visitors every year. It's fun to ride the Hyde Street Cable Car to the top and walk down. From the top you get quite a view of San Francisco. Looking down the hill towards the bay you can see Fishermans Wharf, Alcatraz, and Ghirardelli Square.
Beautifully restored Victorian homes line the street, with well manicured flower beds give one colorful backgrounds for photo's.
I was taken aback by the number of rude tourist who seemed to forget these were private homes. Stepping into their yards to get better photo's ...totally disregarding the signs that politely ask tourists to please stay on the walk. I would not want to be a resident there. People would stand right on top of flowers for the sake of a better photo. I'm always sadden by people's lack of respect for others property. Once when the same person had tromped more than one flower, I spoke outloud to my husband and said ...why are people so rude they ignore the signs and think it's ok to trespass, tromp flowers...wonder how they'd react to someone doing that in their front yard? I hoped people heard me.
Riding the various trolleys and cable cars is great fun, and a nice way to see what you later want to explore further. Plan to wait, be patient, be kind and wait your turn...
This should be a clue to people with small children not to add this activity to your travel plans. Waiting is not in shaded comfortable areas, there is not entertainment, nor refreshments. Do yourself a favor rent a stroller and do the walking tour, or hail a cab.
There's plenty to see while walking, and you can still see the trolley's and cable cars, see how steep and narrow the streets are.
Lots of fun places to dart in for a cool drink or have lunch, but again...be prepared to wait.
You've all seen this famous street in movies and TV shows. It was filmed in the move, "What's Up Doc" with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal and the famous movie "Vertigo".
The switchbacks were instituted in 1922-23 as a means to slow down traffic, and make travel there safer. Lombard Street begins in The Presidio, runs through the Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill Neighborhoods.
MUSTS when traveling in San Fransisco:
Wear comfortable walking shoes
Be prepared to wait, everywhere you go
NEAR BY Attractions when traveling in San Francisco:
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