Monday, 27 April 2015

Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge on Star Princess

Easter Sunday!

Cub came to Inn San Francisco for breakfast and then we all got the BART followed by "that thing" which I think referred to a streetcar (!) and then we had to say goodbye because we got off at Ferry 27 to board Star Princess and Cub carried on to play football. 

We would be seeing him again next week... we hadn't done the sealions yet, or even Fisherman's Wharf and then there was Golden Gates Fields Racecourse.


But we were sailing to Mexico first.

Past Alcatraz.

And under the Golden Gate Bridge.

And only once that was done did we have chance to see the Easter eggs on display on ship.

ALCATRAZ, Tram ride, Lombard Street, Nob Hill.

My adorable legend of a Dad was always telling us children to 

"Go through life trying to do the right thing" 

and I'm glad I listened to that because I wouldn't have wanted to be locked up for committing a crime in a place like Alcatraz,...ever. The inmates of Alcatraz must have been so bad.

We made our way to the Alcatraz ferry for what was to be one of the highlights of our San Francisco trip.

Well of course CUB was the highlight but that goes without saying.

Alcatraz, the notorious prison often referred to as THE ROCK shone in the sun.

("Alcatraz" is Spanish for "pelican") (#justsaying)

It was originally an army base, but became a federal prison from 1934-1963
and it may have been shining in the sun but OMG I bet it was scary inside. 

The self guided tour with audio guides was superb.

The background noises that accompanied the ex-convicts' commentary was very effective. You could really sense the prison atmosphere.
Doors slamming, men yelling, doors being locked etc, all added to the experience.
I thought it was outstanding.

The cells were tiny and looked cold.

D block - Isolation cells

Solitary confinement.

He was allowed a visitor.


I was locked up too.

Once freed we went out into the exercise yard.

I was made to plank.

There was an exhibition on Alcatraz  by Ai Weiwei which was a bit of a bonus because I liked the dragon he did and I like Lego...

but it was also a bit questionable, with the main message being his/our support for some very evil people.

and we may sometimes be a bit naughty but...are we all really potential convicts???

The Lego was impressive though.

In the gift shop at the end of the tour was an ex convict called Rob Luke signing copies of his book describing life in Alcatraz, but it just didn't seem right somehow. So we didn't buy his book. Or ask for a selfie. I bought some pencils. And we went back on the boat humming the Alcatraz song by Field Report.

So Richard Oaks gave me a call
                                                From San Francisco late in the fall
                                                                  He said it's going down
                                    He said we're gonna take the island
                                               As a monument to the smallpox blankets and the bureaucrats
                                                                                               All you got to do is come along
                                                              You catch a bus tomorrow
                                                                     And if we die there 
                                                                         Well At least we make a choice
                                                   If we're fine there
                                                                     We can tell boys
                                                                     that the line it the sand
                                                                             Don’t matter you don’t care 
                                                       That a bird in the hand is worthless if you're too scared


Back at the ferry building the market was looking good with fresh fruit and vegetables.

But what we wanted to do next was ride on a tram. 

Cub was going to get stick for being the ultimate tourist. He spends his time walking up hills, or ordering Uber taxi rides, it is NOT cool to hang off a tram.

He loved it.

He totally loved it.

They absolutely loved it.

We ALL loved it.

Even though it would have been quicker to WALK :)

Lombard Street overlooking Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower.

Cars were queueing up to drive down the crookedest street IN THE WORLD with its EIGHT hairpin bends in one block. 

Grace Cathedral, on Nob Hill, with beautiful stained glass windows and fabulous mosaics.

Wow, all this tourism was wearing us out and we needed our PGTips so the teashop was next.

It was another excellent day.