Arriving from the south into San Francisco is to surf a wave of traffic. The closer you get to downtown, the faster it flows into the grid bisecting the city. Past city hall, up the hill and you’re on a roller coaster ride, lurching around the one-way system to your street. In fact. I got to the hotel correctly, knew I could not park on the road so went in and got a voucher for their preferred valet parking place (many of them around), then had to go in a elaborate figure of eight loop to get there, even though it was just a couple of hundred yards the wrong way down the same road.
Car disposed of, we wheeled the luggage back to the hotel and contended with the lift to sign in, then battling around and up to find our room in a cheap and cheerful, shabby but clean place. Easily the least salubrious place we stayed at in the whole tour, but even so it had a certain charm which would be hard to replicate.
Walking out, we made first for Chinatown. I had visited SF’s Chinatown before, but had forgotten just how huge it was. Extending from a gate not dissimilar to the one in Manchester a great many busy blocks, and across a bustling intersection.