There are a few things we have planned for while we are in San Francisco and Alcatraz is the first of them. The tickets sell out several weeks in advance, so if you intend to visit you need too get them beforehand. Also this meant we had paid for them a month ago, which always makes me feel like the holiday is less expensive :-)
The night before we had logged onto the San Francisco Muni website http://www.511.org to plan the buses needed too get out to Pier 33, where the ferry goes from. We are having a bit of a confusing time with the buses, so that site is very helpful.
We get to the bus stop early – good thing we did, the bus was early – and arrive at Pier 33 with plenty of time to spare. The ferry is large, clean and a really smooth ride over to the island. We got some lovely pics of San Francisco from it.
When we arrive on Alcatraz we are given a quick orientation talk by a ranger and then we head off. A lot of areas are blocked off. It looks like they are working on a lot of the prison guard buildings to hopefully open them to the public at some point.
We walk up to the cell block and take the audio tour. Its fun and very informative, covering the living facilities, attempted escapes and the different areas of the cells. We’re there for 3 hours. I think if they do open the other buildings up you be looking at a good 5+ hours to cover the whole place.
We catch the ferry back to the mainland and we are hungry! Rach had already picked out where we were going to eat, spotting it while looking around Pier 39 the day before – the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. If that sounds familiar, go watch Forrest Gump again :-D The place was great, friendly staff, great food and a really nice view of the bay.
OK peeps, just a quick blog today as I have things to do! ;-)