• Day30

    Day 29 - San Francisco Day 1

    June 13, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    The hotel we are staying at is very quaint it has a British eclectic theme.

    After a lovely breakfast of scambled eggs and fresh fruit we headed to Alcatraz. Just as well we had pre booked as next available tour was 10 July. Apparently numbers are restricted daily in order to try and preserve the island and buildings which are crumbling.

    There was a lot of history here that we did not know. First built with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fort to protect San Francisco Bay from invasion and as a military prison in the mid 1800s.

    It was a federal prison from 1934 to 1963 and housed some very famous and dangerous criminals including Al Capone and the Birdman.

    There were 14 break out attempts but all foiled
    except 1 in which 3 inmates broke out and swam across the bay. They were presumed drowned but their bodies were never found.

    The audio tour was amazing and just the feel of the place creepy. Cells were 5ft by 9ft and prisoners were locked up for 16hrs a day. They were fed good food because it was hoped by doing this the prisoners would not be thinking of escape.

    Oh well it was a very harsh place it seems but YOU DO THE CRIME YOU PAY THE TIME.

    After Alcatraz closed the Indians took possession in the late 60s as a land rights protest for about 19 months. Then the National Parks took it over and opened Alcatraz as a tourist attraction. It also is a reserve for several species of birds who nest at this time of the year so we saw lots of babies.

    Then Stephen and I went to Pier 39 for a great fisherman's plate (glad we got 1 serve to share between 2 it was a big meal) and a glass or two of lovely wine. We actually sat at lunch talking to another Aussie couple Helen and Jo who only live in Engadine and were heading home tonight.

    Back to our hotel to meet up with Tony and Gail for drinks in the parlor and to investigate Chinatown and Little Italy.
    Read more