If you follow me on Instagram (I’m The_Urban_Wanderer if you don’t already!) you might have noticed that I am ‘out of office’ or should that be ‘out of Manchester’ at the moment having some fun wandering Mountain View in California.
Jit is here for a conference and I have tagged along as we’re going to make a bit of a holiday of it by spending some time in San Francisco too.
We arrived in San Francisco Airport on Sunday evening with an amazing view of the super moon from the window of the plane. Unfortunately, plane windows don’t make for the best camera filters, but at least I caught something of it.
San Francisco to Mountain View
Always wanting to get the most of our money as well as getting to know the area we are visiting, we opted to take the BART from San Francisco Airport to Millbrae Station where we caught the Caltrain to Mountain View. It was pretty easy to grab the tickets (once we tried many of our cards) from the machine and pop through the barriers to the platform.
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport)
The only challenge we faced was not knowing when the next BART would be arriving. I think it could be because we are so used to the ones from the Metrolink in Manchester and the large train boards in both Piccadilly and Victoria that we have become accustomed to knowing every second! We did eventually discover a board, and the train rolled in shortly afterwards anyway.
To be honest, the BART reminded me of a cross between 1990’s Mersey Rail and the Manchester Trams. Kind of aged, but still fully functioning as though someone just felt like keeping them going but not giving them the face lift that would make them a whole lot more appealing. After a long flight, things like that don’t really matter though. It had been about an hour since we had last eaten (we were fed something almost every hour and a half and you do kind of get used to it) we were ready to get to the hotel and then find something for dinner.
Millbrae and the Bullet Train
Arriving at Millbrae, we were surprised to see that the bullet trains were double decker. We had seen double decker ones in France but never quite managed to take a ride on one – mainly due to bad timing and Velobleu not docking properly (but that’s another story!)
It wasn’t long until our train arrived and we were on our merry way to Mountain View. Only with a small hiccup of a delay when a passenger fell which meant we had to wait for the poor person to be sorted out. It was this time that the jet lag started to appear as we weren’t doing much.
And to the hotel
Our hotel, the Hampton Inn is only a short walk from the train station, so it was easy-ish to get to the hotel. The only thing slowing us down was the tiredness and the crossing points – they don’t have any feedback systems once you press the button, so you’re kind of lost!
After a quick check around the room and a break while our friend David got showered and changed (yeah, we didn’t bother!) we headed out for food in nearby Downtown Mountain View. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.
But for now, I’m off to explore again! I was just taking a mini break to cool down.
Wearing my shoes down in the fun kind of way,
Travel from San Francisco International Airport to Mountain View
BART from the Airport (follow the signs) and buy $10 ticket (which should do you for the trip) from the machine at the entrance. Go through the barrier collecting your ticket on the same side you put it in (not like London!)
Buy your next ticket at the station, One-way Zone 2-3 from Millbrae to Mountain View, $5.75
Have you ever visited the Bay Area? Where did you visit? What was your favourite thing about it?
Let me know in the comments below:)