Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Alcatraz (and a Lighthouse)

Today we have been to Alcatraz and escaped!

Our Journey started from Pier 33 on a ferry that takes you to the island, and they are the only operate who is allowed to dock at Alcatraz, so we headed for the first sailing of the day, in the summer months the places sell out a week in advance, and although we knew there was no danger of that, we wanted to get on the island before it got busy.
As we arrived at the pier it started raining, and it seemed very fitting as we went over to the island.  It was misty in the bay, and you could only just see the Golden Gate Bridge.

Once we got to the island, after a brief introduction, you are left on your own to walk up to the top of the island and enter the cell house!

We will post more pictures on our FlickR page.  Our verdict of the Cell house, amazing!  Made even better by the weather, and the audio tour that they give you.  Basically they give you headphones and an audio player and you walk around the prison with the voice of a guard, guiding you around.  It is very good and makes you feel you are in the prison when it was occupied.  The sounds and information are spot on.

By the time we came out of the prison it was pouring down with rain, so it was back to the docks and we took the next boat off the island.  It was an excellent tour and even better than what i was expecting, we both really enjoyed it.

And, there is a lighthouse on the island as well !!

It was the first lighthouse on the west coast and is still in operation today, guiding boats safely into San Francisco harbour, avoiding Alcatraz!

And so that has been our day.  This afternoon we have wandered the shopping district and made the odd purchase or two!  We traveled on a Street Car, which to us is a tram!  We were going to come back on a cable car (again, what we would say is a tram!) but the weather was so wet we decided on the quicker option instead of waiting in the rain!

We are now drying off before heading to Pier 39 for some food.

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