Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, July 5, 2010

Today was quite a day, first I hardly slept during the night so I ended up getting out of bed at about 11.30.  So I missed breakfast which was no big deal (at the time).  So I decided I was going to check out the Golden Gate Bridge (which I keep referring to the West Gate Bridge, ahhhh).  There were heaps of people checking in at the hostel so I decided to find my own way there without advice.  I could see a bus that would take me kind of close enough to walk.  But I wasn't confident enough in taking a bus so I walked - THE WHOLE WAY.  Sometimes I can be such an idiot.  It took me nearly 2 hours to get the bridge and you have to walk it because there is no point just looking at it.  So at first I thought I'll just go to the first tower thingy and then I was like oh just go half way and then I convinced myself to walk the whole way and catch the ferry that the bike people are told to do.  So I walked all the way across, which takes about 25 mins and it was very cool to be walking on the bridge but I didn't see any signs to the ferry.  The only buses are the sightseeing ones and they cost like $30 so that wasn't an option.  The only option was to walk back over the bridge and find the normal buses.  I now come to a very valuable lesson, do not embark on a nearly 4 hour walk in the cold without any food and not eating anything prior.  I was beyond starving and have no idea how I got back across the bridge in a very strong head wind.  And you wouldn't believe what I found right at the foot of the bridge - the normal buses, yep right there, easy as you like.  So I hopped on, was able to recognise when I needed to get off and catch another bus and I was near my hotel in 10 mins.  I found an Italian restaurant to replenish my carb levels and then I headed back to the hostel to collapse on my bed.

But my rest was short lived for within 30mins I was going to have to head out for my Alcatraz tour.  The boat left at 6.10pm so I started to walk over at about 5.30.  Thinking it'll be a 20min walk max.  Thank God for intuition, for some reason halfway there I said I wander if I need photo ID, so I looked at my online ticket and what do you know Photo ID required AND boarding is 5.45 - 6.00.  It is 5.40 by the time I realise this and I don't have any Photo ID on me, so I have to power walk back to the hostel which of course in up on the hill.  I grabbed my passport and ran, yes ran, to the dock.  I didn't run all the way, I don't have the fitness for that and the last thing I needed was to have an Asthma attack without my puffer on me.  I was one of the last ones in the line but got there with about 5 mins to spare.  If I hadn't realised I needed photo ID I would have missed out.  Lesson number two for today, always listen to your gut.

So we head off to Alcatraz, it couldn't be any colder, surely, Melbourne's winter is nothing compared to this, I'd hate to be here in winter, these people must freeze that time of year.  The tour group is large but once inside the prison you have an audio guide so it's not that bad.  I thought Alcatraz was very cool, the best thing so far.  The history and stories are amazing and the sheer hell it would have been to be a prisoner there.  Some of them were very bad people who deserved it but some of the others it was a little harsh.  The ways they thought up to escape were very clever.  I would have liked to have stayed till after 9 and see it in the dark but by 8.30 my body was done.

All and all a pretty amazing day, a few hiccups along the way, but that's all part and parcel with traveling. 

And FYI I walked over 18km today, I'm loving my pedometer watch. And I know it's pretty accurate because I felt every one of those kilometers.
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sue on

Wow Amanda you sure did have a big day. Colin and I rode the bikes over and back on the bridge. It was quite a distance to the ferry terminal on the other side. Beautiful sea side village though. Yes Alcatraz was fantastic. We were there in September and it was hot. You must have been unlucky with the weather. Isnt it Summer over there. While your in USA try to eat at a Cheesecake Shop. They are in all the main cities. They sell all types of food at reasonable prices. The cheesecake is to die for.


Love Sue R

Bel on

Yes, you are a silly girl for walking it. Lesson 3 (or whatever you got up to), ask sister for advice. But I do have to say, the bridge looks amazing in the fog. Kudos for braving the wind and speeding cars right beside you to walk it. Photos are great, damn I wish I had that camera. Have fun, be safe and avoid long walks in 1 hit & running. It's only week 1.

Byron on

Amanda, beats pilates!!!!
Take care and travel safely

manda2010 on

Hi Sue, so great to hear from you. San Fran was nice but the National Parks were amazing. Just arrived in New York will be here for 2 weeks, should be fun.

manda2010 on

It does, but do wish I did a bit more walking before I left to prepare myself a bit better.

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