Going from Santa Clara to San Francisco, by public transport, gives you a lot of time to think, since you have to change two light trains (VTA, BART) and one regional train (Caltrain) you’ll need roughly two and half hours from one place to another. On the way to airport, I had some time to note a few things about my experience there and about ZendCon 2008.

Coming from a small country (population of 22 millions) and an even smaller city (population of 400 000) I was impressed by the big distances Americans in these area have to travel daily. If you’re not living 5 or 10 km closer to your office, and in a big city, your daily possibilities are limited and is not practical to use the public transport for everything, because you’ll have to spend a lot of time commuting (for example this more then two hours trip by public transport could have been done in 40-50 minutes by car, there are 70km, after all). We (me and my Ciao colleagues) have lost this time when we had to go from Santa Clara to San Francisco, so we didn’t manage to see much. We’ve seen some classic tourist stuff, Golden Gate, the Cable Train, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Mission Street, a Spanish neighborhood we’ve landed in by mistake. Still, it was surreal to see all the things you see in the movies, the exterior fire stairs, the American Police cars, the Transamerica Pyramid building and other landmarks from San Francisco.

These tourist stuff happened on Saturday and Sunday, the first two days I spent here. For the rest of the week, I’ve attended ZendConf in Santa Clara.

More about the conference, in another post.