Escape to Alcatraz
Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
374Trip End Mar 15, 2007
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Had to move hostels this morning with the one I was in booked out tonight but shifting over to the oddly named Adelaide hostel here in San Francisco was just a short walk around the corner. Really homely comfortable place although checking in with at the same time as two Korean guys who were put into the same dorm as me with one other girl already there was a bit odd:
Girl: "Hi, I'm Rosemary."
Korean: "Oh, your name Rosemary. That's a horrible name hah hah."
Wanting to stick around even less after being stuck inside so much the last few days I escaped out into the sunshine on a beautiful clear day leaving them to sort of talk
So finally out and about in San Francisco with one main aim on my mind, tram riding time. The trams here really are just a tourist thing at $5 a ride but still something that had to be done. Hopping on a tram heading up and down towards the bay got a prime hanging off the side spot along with others soon filling up the other spaces with cameras poised. Having to keep all detachable bodily parts inside the tram at times as we narrowly passed parked cars and lamp posts the short ride was soon over stopping at Fisherman's Wharf another touristy hot spot. The wharf was lined with souvenirs shops, cafes, restaurants and more souvenirs shops passing them all to head to the little ticket office I almost passed straight by for Alcatraz island.
Getting on the boat straight away as it departed for the 10 minute ride to the island it gave good views back towards the city and out over the bay with the bridges glistening in the sun. Being greeted onto the island by a park ranger, the island is actually a national park, he gave a short talk/tour about family life on the island, not something I knew existed outside the prison showers but interesting to hear about growing up on the island with the cheapest downtown accommodation around.
Inside the prison itself it was a self guided audio tour donning a headset which guided you through the different areas from the main cell block to solitary confinement and the courtyard with great views out towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
After being locked in solitary confinement and hearing about prison breaks and Native American occupations on the island I escaped from Alcatraz walking back through the financial district under the shadow of the towering Transamerica building (the pyramidey one). Just next door to all this is Chinatown which I took a stroll through before returning to recharge my batteries in front of the idiot box.