Alcatraz in San Fran

Published: September 4th 2008
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Thursday 21st Aug
After finding cheap parking we headed to pier 33 to board our boat to Alcatraz. It was only a short boat ride (and I still think an easily swimmable distance!!) to the 'rock as local would say! When we got off the boat we were greeted by the state park ranger and given some info on what to see and do. Firstly we watched a short video about Alcatraz and the history of the island. This gave us a good insight into how the prison had been established.

Next we walked round the outside of the prison which still had some of the old facilities and building from back in the days it served as a military base. Then was the jail tour we were all given audio headsets to listen to stories from former inmates and tour directions. It was an extremely well put together tour with detailed descriptions of every aspect of jail life and vivid accounts of events including several break out attempts. Only 3 people have ever been know to break out, but as they were never seen again official records claim 'The Rock' has never been broken out of.

After the Alcatraz tour we went on another boat to Angel Island, which is a regional state park. It was a very peaceful island with a history of lighthouse keepers and fishermen living there, but very few people, NO cars which was amazing. We had a train ride round most of it but really wish we could have walked the route, however we did get off the train for the last 2 miles to stretch our legs before getting back on the boat.

The boat ride back to San Fran was a great way to see the sky line and we finally had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge without the fog hanging over it. When we disembarked the boat we went to look at the seals which are now permanent residents in the harbour at pier 39 - we really couldn't get over how many there were!

Next was a well deserved ice cream before heading up to Lombard street - the windiest road in San Fran. This road was at one point straight, but vehicles had so much trouble getting up and down they re designed the road with switch back twists to make it easier to get up and down. It's now a feature of San Fran that many tourists visit and drive down just for fun!!

After climbing to the top of Lombard we thought we would try and walk the length of it (approx 3 miles) knowing that there was a well recommended pub at the end of it called Liverpool Lil's!! After finally making it to Lil's we had a pint but were disappointed there was no relation to Liverpool at all!!

We trekked back to the car and set off for the Elephant Restaurant near our motel in South San Fran. After another enjoyable meal, and time between courses spent blogging, we gratefully accepted our zebra mugs, given to us by our waiter, Kevin (and a tip for a surfing beach the next day), and headed back to get some much needed sleep.

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