Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tue 14 Oct - Belvedere Tiburon, CA

The next morning at the MacDonald's Walnut Creek household was a bit full on and Hans kept a low profile with a closed door for as long as he could. The 3 kids were all going places and needed to be fed and get ready.

The house from the street, complete with spiderweb preparations for Halloween in a few weeks time.

Hans had breakfast once all were gone except for Ben and can you believe it?

Ben, as a good Australian ex-pat had Weetabix in the cupboard (the British variation). Hans was very happy as Weetabix in all its reincarnations is quite difficult to get hold off in the U.S.

Jen returned after her kids taxi shuttle and we all chatted for a while before Ben gave Hans a lift to Walnut Creek BART station for his long return to Marin County via train, walking, ferry and bus.

This is from the Embarcedero BART station.

The BART ticket machine.

There is a small peculiarity in that you first look at a table to determine the fare, one way or return, one or two tickets. You then enter that amount of money that would take you where you want to go. You are simply loading a value to a flimsy paper ticket with a magnetic strip.

In other words, there is nowhere printed on the ticket where you came from and where you are heading. The turnstiles take care of the rest and make sure that you have paid the right amount for your trip. Well, it worked for Hans as the turnstile kept his ticket at his last exit.

From Embarcadero BART station, there is a 30 odd minutes walk to Pier 41 from where the Tiburon ferry departs. Hans timed it pretty well as he arrived there with a spare 20 minutes, enough to buy a ticket and have an apple while waiting.

Along the way, Hans passed the departure point for the various Alcatraz cruises and tours.

Hans had earlier thought about going to Alcatraz as he hasn't been there before, but this just turned him off. Way too touristy.

The 12.10pm ferry departed. Today the weather was a fair bit cooler but still mild enough to be outside on the top deck.

Alcatraz to the left and downtown San Francisco to the right.

Look at the setting of this watchtower(?) on Angel Island. A very peculiar position indeed. Somebody else can have that job. Hans will pass.

Hans did find out that Angel Island was once the Ellis Island of the Pacific. Where European immigrants arrived at Ellis Island in New York City, immigrants from the Pacific took their first steps on American soil at Angel Island off San Francisco.

Back on shore in Tiburon, Hans picked up a tub of "hot" food from Woodlands Market for lunch. "Hot" because it was advertised as such but luke warm would be more accurate. Pieces of chook, some meatballs and some marinated capsicum (the latter was the most tasty).

Bus 219 for the final few miles home departed from across the street of Woodlands Market where Hans chatted to a local lad while waiting for the bus. The lad had heard that you were not allowed guns in Australia and he was "amazed" by that (his word). U.S. public's approach to gun ownership sure is different to Oz.

Back at base for Hans around 2pm and chilling was on the agenda. Hans had a lazy rest of the day home at Vineet's place so nothing more to report for today.


Robin Williams, the actor who so tragically committed suicide not long ago, was only 8 minutes, 3.3 miles away according to Google Maps from where Vineet lives (A) and where Hans is staying.

Robin Williams' apparently lived at 95 St Thomas Way (B) in Belvedere Tiburon.


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