Thursday, October 6, 2011
Blurb: After the weekend we had I probably deserved to be here.
Backstory: It's Monday and Taylor's off to work so Kerri and I have been left to do more tourist things, mainly Alcatraz. After two beautiful, picture perfect California days it's started raining. Our day started out in Chinatown with a tea tasting. Kerri did not have fun because the guy said we hadn't spent much time abroad and she said no I just don't like certain flavors of tea(that's the short version of the story). We saw a lot of weird stuff and fun Asian candy. After spending the morning in Chinatown it was off to Alcatraz.
The hardest part about San Francisco, for me, is the excessive amount of hills and the motion sickness that follows those hills. Well, this time the motion-sickness was taken out of the water and the ferry that got us to the amazing island prison. The waters were really choppy because of the bad weather and we stood outside for the 15 minute ride so I could get some fresh air. The first thing you seen when you dock at the island is a pretty common thing in this area: a big hill. The prison really does sit on top of a big rock in the middle of the bay. According to the National Park's brochure, walking to the top of the hill is the equivalent of walking 13 stories.
Luckily you don't do a lot of steps at Alcatraz, most of it is just inclined roads but you can see the steps people used to use and they're very creepy. Let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to climb them. The most surprising things about the island is it's not that creepy, and I'm saying this after visiting the place in the rain. Everything just seems very sterile and, with the exception of the main prison building, most of the building are very run down or undergoing restoration.
It wasn't my favorite historical tour of all time, but it was very close. The visit got high marks for the audio tour of the prison and the breath taking views of the city. It got negative marks for the lack of professionally guided tours by actual people and the lack of finished restoration. After another day of walking I'm ready for a margarita and some tacos (which I just had).