Weather interruption = Half a day in San Francisco

Sunday afternoon saw some dodgy weather hitting the airport that resulted in my Qantas flight from Sydney to San Francisco being delayed by about an hour and a half.  Whilst we were hopeful that they would be able to make this time up in the flight, these hopes we soon to be dashed as we hit some nasty turbulence through the night.  End result, a few of us missed our connecting flight through to Seattle.  The situation got worse as they could rebook us on other flights today.  This either meant getting an early morning flight or going across the hall and buying a cheap Virgin America flight.  Both Grant Holliday and I decided to go with the Virgin flight which meant had some time until the 8pm flight. So, we thought we’d step outside the airport for a bit of fresh air.


Given we had over 5 hours to kill we decided that we should head downtown to try to take in some of the tourist sites.  After jumping on the main train system “BART” we ended up downtown a couple of blocks from Union Square.  As we emerged from the underground station we were greeted by a jazz band knocking out a number or two on the pavement.


We got our bearings and made our way across to Union Square where there was an open-air art display.  Nothing particularly catching although all fairly modern pieces.

IMAG0049 IMAG0048

From Union Square we too the cable car down to Fisherman’s Wharf. Apparently all the cars run on 4 cables that are driven from a single engine room.

IMAG0047 IMAG0046     

From the end of the cable car there was a short walk down to the piers.  On the way we saw some magnificent cars….

From the Wharf you can see what feels like the entire bay.  Right in the middle of the view is of course the infamous Alcatraz prison.


But you can also look back towards the city, taking in the vibrant pier area and at least a portion of the somewhat hilly city.

IMAG0063 IMAG0062 IMAG0061

The other attraction we poked our heads in on was the seal colony just off Pier 19.     


Then it was back on the Cable car, then the BART and back to the airport.  The Virgin America flight was actually a great experience.  Despite being a discount carrier they still serve you a drink after the flight has taken off, the decor is all brand new, which includes the in-flight entertainment system.  You have to pay $7 for the movies (similar range to the earlier Qantas flight) but nearly everything else is free, including live satellite TV, games (Doom was an immediate hit!), music and radio.  I have to commend them on putting together a flight service I would definitely recommend, unlike the rubbishy Australian counterpart, Virgin Blue.

I’m currently writing this post from the scheduled charter bus service that runs from the airport to the downtown hotels.  For $11 per person, per direction, you can’t really go wrong. After a busy day I’m looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep and then catching up with fellow MVPs as the MVP summit begins (a week of Geeky Fun-ness).

Leave a comment