San Francisco Vacation – Day 3 – 4.30.12
May 10, 2012 | Travel Photography
Day 3 of our San Francisco vacation was a big day since we were going to spend half a day in Sausalito and then go on an excellent night tour to Alcatraz. We were also very lucky to go to Sausalito this day since the next day Ferry workers were striking for May Day. Yikes! But it was a gorgeous day in San Francisco, and an even nicer day in Sausalito.
We took the ferry from the Ferry Building in the morning and got a great spot on the upper deck and watch SF getting smaller and smaller as we made our way to the scenic coastal community. It reminded me a bit of Italy and Greece, even though I haven’t been to those places yet. Sausalito is mainly good to go to if you like to take pictures, eat at some nice restaurants and window shop. Kristen actually did some shopping and bought a flowery handbag and some jewelry. Prices there weren’t too terrible, even though it’s one of the richest areas in America. A lot of famous people have houses there apparently. We walked around the yacht harbor which was nice and then walked around the main street. A lot of people got ice cream and just went into a lot of shops. I recommend just taking a ferry over to Sausalito instead of doing some day tour thing where you’re on someone else’s schedule. Or you could just drive yourself as well.
I enjoyed just walking along the street, people watching and relaxing near the bay. For lunch, we ate at Poggio Trattoria. I had the gnocchi which was delicious! We took the ferry back to San Francisco and headed back to our hotel to relax for a little bit before Alcatraz. We hopped on the F line to Pier 33 to go to Alcatraz and waited in line with the hordes of people. The Night Tour is perhaps the best tour for Alcatraz, but also the most popular. I’d advise booking at least 2 weeks in advance if you want to go on the night tour. The night tour has more things to see and do. You can get demonstrations, watch a movie, and hear untold stories that you don’t normally hear on the day tour of Alcatraz. Funny thing happened on the way to Alcatraz. A couple decided to go out in front of the boat and take pictures with Alcatraz in the background. What they didn’t take into account was it was windy, and wind brings waves! The boat ride was getting bumpy and at one point a HUGE wave came over the side and the couple got DRENCHED! It was hysterical. I think they have a good laugh about it but I think everyone else enjoyed them getting wet even more.
I was surprised how new and clean Alcatraz seemed to me. Compared to Eastern State Penn in Philly and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, it seems fairly new. Buildings outside are a bit rundown but the cellhouse still seemed new-ish. As you make your way up the island prison, you hear from a guide about some things and then are allowed to wander the cellhouse. You can listen to the audio guide as you go through each section of the prison. The audio tour is mainly from former guards and inmates. I just liked hearing about the rioting, and the different inmates in the prison. At the end of tour, there’s a chalkboard with different demonstrations and stuff you can see.
You have 3 options: wander around and kill time until the 8:20 boat leaves, listen to an untold story and get on the 8:20 boat, or stay later for the last boat and try to fit in 2 things. We wanted to hear a story about escape and this one was about John Paul Scott. The story would make for an interesting movie. I pictured Leonardo for the role; it just seemed like something he would do. The story was really good though and recommend checking that one out if they have it for the night tour when you go. After that, we got on the boat and everybody piled into the boat. People sitting on the floor, chairs, anywhere there was room. For some reason, that boat ride reminded me of the end of The Dark Knight with The Joker trying to have the 2 boats blow each other up. Thankfully that didn’t happen to us haha.
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Tags: 24-70mm f2.8, Alcatraz, California, nikon d300, San Fran, San Francisco, Sausalito, SF, The Rock, travel, travel photography, vacation