For a little while we have been eyeing up the season opening football game at University of California Berkeley Saturday September 1st. We therefore got up early in the morning and drove the last hour towards San Francisco. We crossed the Golden Gate in the morning, when the fog was still hanging low over the city and the air was crisp. Last time we drove up the hill to the view point, which was in 2007, we we forced to stop halfway to the top when our van at the time ran out gas… We made it to the top this time.
We drove through San Francisco and over the Bay Bridge to Berkeley. It’s a lovely area, proud of its prestigous university. Due to the football game, the traffic was crazy and finding a spot to park seemed very difficult. Not minding a power walk over to The Memorial Stadium at campus, we got a spot at the library garage. On our power walk we were able to round up some tickets from a scalper. Unsure if the tickets would work when we got the gate, our hearts were beating. Only minutes before kick off we got beeped in and all was good. We were stoked!
Dressed in what blue, yellow and white clothing we could round up we did our best to mingle with the local Cal fans. I think we did pretty well (except the one time when Cal alumni was to be honored and I stood up thinking I’d do what the people around me did…) The group we ended up sitting with, really took us in and gave us a great Cal football experience. They were all alumni and have been going to the football games since 1972! They told us we had picked a great game to come to, since The Memorial Stadium had been completely refurbished and this was the first game at the new stadium. Apparently, the stadium sits right on an earthquake fault and was cracked up, this being the main reason for the refurbishing.
The sun came out and everybody was smiling (in spite of Cal’s loss). We toured the campus afterwards and had a few beers at the Bear’s Den before further exploring the city of Berkeley. We ended up meeting lots of friendly people from various places and had a great afternoon, evening and night!
Berkeley has been great and we will stay another night until we are geared up for a few exciting days in San Francisco!