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Published: September 10th 2013
The day started out just like any other day, but the special thing is that it's Fishermen's Wharf and Alcatraz day! We had a brief moment yesterday that lead us to believe Tom Tom may have expired which lead us to the Iphone maps. Fishermen's wharf is on Pier 33- that's what was entered for a desired location. As we happily chatter away and follow our directions, less and less cars are following and more and more trucks are barreling around us, we come to the end of the road? We are confused- it's a garbage dump- surely this is not what everyone is talking about? It was Pier 93 not 33 which apparently makes a big difference. THis is not for the tourist eyes to see. What a DUMP-literally! Side bar......Lombard and Bush (don't mind the pun) we have see the same Hooker for 2 days in a row- it's obviously "her corner".
After Iphone maps failed the Ipad (thank goodness for technology) was put to use. Just go on this road and we'll head north......surely we will run into Pier 33. Eureka! We found it- and since we have left "camp" every day before 10:30am- we also found
The climate changes frequently here but what is so interesting is that the flowers are in abundance. There are so many varieties, and they are all stunning. I truly saw the largest geranium I've ever seen- it had to be 4 feet tall and a fuchsia that had a 5 inch trunk. What we consider "annual" plant's in Wisconsin must grow here year round in order to be that large.
Fishermen's Wharf did not disappoint. Though it is the quintessential tourist trap- there are gems to see. Just to the right of the Pier was the home base for the American Cup boats. They had bleachers and presentation stages set up. I got very excited when I saw the Biscoff coffee shop! I told the Bear- these are the cookies you get when you go to Europe! As we walk in it say's Europe's favorite cookie! We indulged in a Biscoff flavored latte that was amazing! Someone told me I could buy the cookies at Walgreens- doesn't anyone know if that's true?
There was a plethora of boats in the harbor and as you made your way to the end- the island of Alcatraz and
the other side of the bay came into view. It's beautiful- but what is that noise? Bear, thinking that there were dogs in the area- started toward the noise only to find out it's barking of the sea lions........what? Not dogs? Apparently she didn't know (i.e.. didn't read the San Francisco book I bought) that the Wharf was know for it's sea lion population. They were very playful, very entertaining and there is a king of each pier .......if your not a king- don't try to jump on my pier!
Lunch was at Neptune's Restaurant with a view of the harbor. Bear had her safe Salmon and I had the Creamy Clam Chowder and 6 fresh oysters! YUMMMM. (those of you that don't know- she is allergic to shell fish.....poopy!) As we made our way toward the Alcatraz loading zone- we made a brief stop at the jewelers to pick up our Pandora Cable Car charm- our new tradition started with this trip. Off to the cattle boat....... we refused to have our tourist picture taken as we loaded and headed straight up to the top of the boat. Bug being properly trained immediately headed up to the Captain's
area to find out what kind of engines are powering this vessel? My husband would want to know- for those of you interested- Detroit 60's reversed to create generators combined with solar and electric will power this boat to the island. (aren't you proud of me Mr. Bug). We seem to have the weather luck, as we arrived it was slightly foggy and you were unable to see the main land clearly. Leaving was a different story.
The Bug and the Bear are amateur photographers- Bear more than Bug but rather than the canned photos of the cells and buildings, we went for things with textures, lines and depth. The lighting was challenging but makes for some great pictures if you can capture it correctly. The audio tour created an atmosphere for the story to come to life, if the walls could talk they would tell a story of human hopelessness and confinement. As if being in prison and the 5 foot cells wasn't enough- the echoes of voices and normal hustle bustle of life would carry over the bay and the prisoners would have to listen to something that would quite possibly never be in reach. After all
they were the worst of the worst when it came to criminals.
There are a few pictures included in this blog but because of the multitude of photos we both took- you may follow the link for a video slide show of our amateur art.
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