Saturday, July 29, 2006

Travelog # 1 - Lombard Street

I am starting a new travelog series with Lombard Street. In this series, I am planning to share travel experiences from places visited over the years. My intent is to post one per post per week on this subject...

Lombard Street
Lombard Street is considered the crookedest street in San Francisco, USA and is a tourist attraction in itself. People from all over throng this area and drive through the street for the experience of it. One has to climb through 3 blocks of steep hill before driving down a steep descent.

I utterly failed in my initial attempts to driver through Lombard Street with a stick shift car. I lacked the confidence and skill to juggle clutch, gas and break while driving uphill. This resulted in my vehicle going backward instead of forward.

Even after switching to an automatic car, I wasn't successful in my first attempt. I was driving with a boat load of people in the van and had to quit after the 2 blocks of steep hill. Then one my colleague taught me the trick of using both legs to drive uphill in an automatic car and that did the trick. Once I knew how to maneuver gas & break with both legs simultaneously, I in fact became an expert in traversing through Lombard Street and drove several of my friends and family through.

Here are some pictures I took in April 2003

Lamboard Street
The crookedest street in San Francisco

Lombard Street
Steep descent

Crawl Down the Street at 5 MPM
Crawl down Lombard at 5 mph

Bay Bridge from Lombard Street
partial view of the Bay Bridge from Lombard

Cable Car
Cable Car near Lombard

More photos in flickr


  1. Ram,

    Glad that you have started your travelog with one of my most favorite cities. I have not dared to drive through Lombard Street but have only walked through it and watched the drivers struggle with amusement :-)

  2. If you got to test a car & its driver this is the place. I have tested almost a dozen cars on this hill & the best to perform was BMW Z & 3 series, Honda civic & the VW golf. the rule this hill. Its more fun when their is a jam just before hitting the top hill, resulting in using all the pedals & leg ;-)

  3. Nithya
    Yes.. CA is one of my favorite states and I love Palo Alto area..

    I took my parents along this road once and Amma started saying 'slokams'.. as my 'vandi' started going backwards after a stop & go situation..

    Welcome to my blog..
    This road was definitely a test for my 'driving' ability..

  4. Interesting.
    I held my breath at the steep descent photo!
    Looking forward to the next.

  5. Usha

    Yes.. It can be scary.. but you do it once.. then you start loving it..