Saturday, March 08, 2008

By Train to San Franscisco and by walk across the Golden Gate bridge

One of the days I was in the Bay Area, I decided to get the local flavour of the famous Silicon Valley and headed out alone, armed with nothing but the camera and $100 in my pocket. Padma dropped me off at the Caltrain station at Sunnyvale and wished me all the best. This was the first time I travelled alone in the US. Thinking back I find it ironical because I have been here the past four months and have not ventured out alone. A person who was always venturing out alone to explore new places in homeland has not gone out on his own for four months in a foreign nation! I can't believe it myself. I guess the San Franscisco trip was the first of the many trips I am destined to make in this country.

Platform of the Caltrain station at Sunnyvale
I fumbled at the ticket vending machine before finally buying a ticket from Sunnyvale to San Franscisco ($5.75). There is nobody working at the station, only machines. You get stuck, then you have to seek help of fellow passengers, passers by or call the helpline. Having bought the ticket I sat down on one of the cast iron benches on the clean platform to wait for the train. One by one people started arriving, a Chinese girl, few Desi techies, some white men and women came in bicycles and got ready to load their vehicles into the train. Soon the train arrived and I was surprised by its silence and smooth movement. There was no chugging noise which I am so used to in India and there is no shrill horn to warn of an approaching train. Everyone on the platform ran towards the automatic doors and scrambled inside, people with bikes went to the bike cars and others made themselves in the two storey compartments.

The interiors of the train was clean and leather seats very comfortable. At the entrance of every compartment there is a small niche with several brochures one about the events happening in the Bay Area, another giving Caltrain schedules and yet another about some business etc. Having picked up one of the brochures I made myself comfortable in a window seat and sat back to enjoy the 45 minute journey to San Franscisco. Of course my camera was ready to capture any interesting sights on the way.

1 comment:

backpakker said...

and then..waiting for more :)