Another awkwardly titled post, but anyway…
Our second say in San Francisco we got lucky at snagged last minute tickets to Alcatraz for the morning. We didn’t think it would have been a sold-out kind of tour, but it apparently is, and when we first looked tickets weren’t available, but upon a double or triple check they were.
The intention was to ride the cable car over the hill and down to the wharf, but we arrived at the cable-car loading area to see a line extending around the cul-de-sac and figured it was about an hour wait, to avoid a 30 minute or whatnot walk. We decided to walk. We actually tried to get on the cable car along the route, but they were specifically only letting locals on (denoted by being an old lady with a grocery bag, apparently).
I think our walk took us through, or at least along the edge of Chinatown, as judging by the produce for sale outside markets that had almost no English signage to be seen. We didn’t have too much time to kill before heading over to pier to catch the boat to the island. We did have to wade through the sea of people who were apparently departing their recently returned cruise.
Alcatraz itself was cool – we started with the audio tour, which takes you through pretty much all the indoor areas that are open to the public. I shan’t recount an entire tour for you, but there’s a good bit of interesting history there, and if it’s new to you, some awareness of the prison lifestyle.
After returning to the mainland, we wandered along the piers just meandering through various tourist
traps attractions. A few of them are shown in the pictures, including the dubbed “pinwheel guy.” We also got to see people playing three card monte for $100’s – which raised the curiosity of how many of the wins were staged just to lure in others.
We wandered to Ghiarardelli Square where a few chocolate treats were bought. From there we though we’d try again to ride a cable car… after seeing the line looking longer than in the morning, that plan was dropped and we hiked up the hill (those are some steep hills) to visit the Crookedest Street – which is a complete tourist trap of it’s own, in the form of a street. It has to be obnoxious for people who live there. We walked down the street, loitering longer than really necessary given that we were (OK, I was) taking pictures of a street.
From there, we continued on far enough to catch a bus back to the hotel, gather our luggage, reacquire the car and head toward the airport. Our flight out was early in the morning, so we spent the evening packing up and getting ready to go.