Hop on bus tour today and we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, it was a beautiful warm and sunny day, thought about walking the bridge for a nanosecond, and stayed on the bus. So glad we got to do it, we were also going to see Alamo Square and the painted ladies but silly me forgot the camera and only had my iPhone, so we just did the whole loop and will see all that tomorrow.
This afternoon we caught bus down to Pier 39, saw the sea lions who have been in residence here for many years, they are so cute and funny we could have watched them for hours. Pier 39 was much better than the other end of Fishermans Wharf, we had fun down there and then it was time to catch the ferry to Alcatraz.
I must admit that when we stepped into the main building I got a bit emotional, our tour guide noticed and came up and was explaining that a lot of people have the same feeling, he agreed with me that it is not just a building but a very powerful and palpable experience for some who look beyond the facade of the place, which is exactly how I felt.
We got to see the jail cells, solitary confinement, the hospital wing, the dining hall, along with an audio tour which was narrated by four ex guards and four ex inmates, who had stories of their own to tell. Our guide was telling us about stories he heard when talking to one of the children who grew up on the Island, it was well done how they personalized our experience on the tour.
On our way out, our guide told us a story about the one man who managed to escape the Island to the mainland, only to be caught once he made it ashore, after that Alcatraz was ordered closed in 1963, it is crumbling in parts, but they seem to be renovating and preserving as money allows.
Ferry ride back at 9.30 was spectacular, the City lights were twinkling across the bay and we were glad we did the night tour.
Decided to catch a bus to our hotel, it was totally empty when we got on, I was wondering why they didn't just put on a smaller bus at 10 at night, that is until we got to the next stop, by the time we had gone 3 stops this bendy bus was full, and I reckon there were about five different languages being spoken all at once at full volume.
About five homeless people hopped on the bus and it was like musical chairs with everyone moving to avoid sitting next to them one came and sat next to me, I moved too, the guy next to me told me it was a smart move, then another one sat near Rob, no one wanted the seat in between them, by this time with the seat swapping at full volume conversations at 10 at night, I was fascinated and recorded a bit of what was happening, just for sound, Rob wouldn't let me take pics, but I was laughing so hard the pics would have been blurry anyway.
We always like to experience the local way of things wherever we go and that bus trip was exactly that, best $2 bus ride ever.