The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last permanently operational manually operated cable car system. The cars are pulled along by cables embedded in the street, and they are a famous icon of San Francisco. And we totally forgot to ride them the last time we were all in San Francisco.
So this was first on our list on our first day of sightseeing in San Francisco. It’s pretty expensive to ride the cable car, $5 one-way, so we chose to ride the longest route, the Powell-Hyde line, which took us all the way to Fishermans Wharf. Obviously, this line is very popular and there are always very long lines at the turnaround points.
One way to avoid the lines is to board one stop away from the turnaround, like I did with Yasu, but then all the good seats (the outside benches and standee spots) are taken and you get stuck in the crowd inside the little room on the back of the car. The other way to avoid lines is to come really early or really late. Seeing as the Dutchies are still jetlagged, making getting up really early easy, and Yasu had his first class of the semester in the early morning today, we all decided to get up before seven and head downtown before eight. And it worked! There were just a few people waiting in front of us and we could have gotten on the first cable car leaving the turnaround, but it was the wrong line. But this made us first to board when the Powell-Hyde car came around! My mom took a seat on an outside bench and Guido and I took standee spots, in front of her.
It was a completely different experience from last time, it was really exciting to hang of a moving vehicle while going through the beautiful streets of San Francisco. But it’s also a bit dangerous, especially when you’re standing at the head of the car. The gripman commanded me to keep my eyes on the road at all times for my own safety. Just a tad of danger only adds to the fun anyway, right?