The Flight of Bear Canada

Day 5 - April 17th
Olema, CA to San Fransisco, CA

The run to San Francisco was a short one. I spent most of the day wandering the city by bike and some time at the bay waterfront. I stopped for lunch at Pier 39's Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The shrimp was good, but I recommend watching Forrest Gump before going. Why, you ask? Because I got grilled on trivia from the movie. (They drop hints so you won't feel like a complete idiot though.) I decided to hole up in a hotel for a couple of days to take a break and explore the city. Also I can use this opportunity to catch up on a few things.


Backroads outside of San Fransisco.


The Golden Gate Bridge.


Alcatraz Prison

Day 6 - April 18th
San Francisco, CA

So I spent the day in Frisco playing tourist. I parked the bike at the central parking lot at City Hall and began to wander.


San Fransisco City Hall

Then I wandered over to Japan Center as found much to my delight that a Cherry Blossom festival was going on. Japan Center is definitely a must see place for any Japan-o-phile (or Otaku)


Japan Center Pagoda


The "mob" early in the morning. The food line-ups were worse. I found the takoyaki (octopus balls) booth was at the end of a quarter block lineup. I had to tear myself away, since I love takoyaki.


Prepping the Omykoshi portable shrine. It is said that the shrine brings good luck especially to those who carry it.

I have been to Japanese festivals before in Vancouver, namely the Powell Street festival, so I had to tear myself away and head to Chinatown. I walked to the start of one of the cable cars that are synonymous with Frisco.


Good old fashioned cable car.


The ride is clunky and rough, but the view is cool. (Sorta like the Strom.)

The next stop is Chinatown. Now Vancouver's Chinatown is quite big, especially if you consider that the Chinese have taken over the suburb of Richmond. But I was still blown away by the size and character of Frisco's Chinatown.


The Gate to Chinatown.


A Chinatown back alley.

I did hear some familiar drumming and I decided to check it out. A lion dance was being performed to bring good luck to a business. These are cool to check out, but do be careful of the firecrackers thrown about to scare off the evil spirits.


Lion dancers. Usually in Canada there might be just one lion, but the Americans seem to like to think big. :) (More lion = more luck.)


The inside of a store called the Wok Shop. The Chinese seem to have clutter down to an art form. It's a lot of stuff, but it's not a mess.

I also wandered along Market St. and rode the electric trolleys. But I end the day working on the laptop, updating websites and planning the next section of the ride. More of the California coast then inland to Death Valley.

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Contents Copyright (C) Michael Fodor 2012.