Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Alcatraz, Chinatown & Ramen

Well done San Francisco for tiring the children out!

The sun continued to shine! Yay! Despite waking up late, we somehow managed to get onto the first ferry to get to Alcatraz. The tickets can be bought directly at Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33 where the ferries left although at peak times, it would be wise to pre-purchase them. Note that there is only one approved vendor to ferry visitors across so buy tickets from the official website to save yourselves paying more unnecessarily. Our visit included an audio guide to the cellblock and so we made our way up the hill to avoid the crowds later. It was a great audio tour, outlining the facilities, life in the prison, and the escape attempts. Poor Jonah got a bit worried at one point and refused to look inside the cells for solitary confinement...We were blessed with good weather with only mild fog in the distance and got a great view back towards San Francisco Bay as well as the Golden Gate Bridge.

Our vessel. How aprtly named!

Great views from the top

Through the early morning fog you could just see the island we were visiting


Having to walk up a steep hill to the main prison meant that we could overtake all the unfit people!

After entering we walked past where prisoners were issued their prison gear

The shower area. The allocation of headsets and instructions on how to use them was well organised

Former inmates and guards as narrators brought some "realness"

The children were engaged! 

A typical tiny cell

Solitary. Spooked Jonah out completely. He refused to go in!

Parts of the tour brought you outside which was lovely. A gorgeous view towards San Francisco across the bay

The escapes captivated us all!

One of the escapee's cell

Gotta love this! Much better than a snow globe!

With virtually no food offering on the island itself, our task upon returning to the mainland was to get ourselves to Chinatown. Fortunately it wasn't too bad a walk. Although a fair distance, it wasn't particularly hilly. Phew! We quickly settled upon a restaurant and savoured our first good chinese meal for some time! Mmmm....the servings were generous and reasonably priced. We wandered around Chinatown prior to taking the very fun cable car back towards Fisherman's Wharf. We had a few more "must see"s to tick off our list. Ghirardelli Square with Ice cream treats for afternoon tea. Tick! We raced back up Lombard to see the most crooked street in the world. The steep hill was enough exertion to have everyone discard clothing down to bare minimum. We meandered our way down and walked back to our hotel. My thoughts were that I would hate to be living in one of the houses after seeing the number of tourists and cars passing through!

Chinatown in San Francisco = good chinese food !Yay!

Perhaps over ordered a smidge

Fortune cookie factory. To take a photo inside costs 50 cents each shot...er no thanks

But we'll take the freebie food!

When in Chinatown one buys strange things?!? A head scratcher


Cable car time!

Oma and Opa preferred the safety of sitting inside

We didn't bring the selfie stick!!! Clear blue skies and you can make out the Golden Gate bridge in the background....just

Jonah posing while taking a photo

It would have been cruel not to stop here!

One of Jonah's photos. Alcatraz was not so far away from the city!

Hot and sweaty after running up to the top of the crookedest street

The street as seen from the bottom

By this stage, everyone was complaining of exhaustion. The children refused a visit to the park! We granted them their rest before our rumbling tummies had us searching for dinner. Malcolm bravely conquered San Francisco peak hour traffic in a supersized SUV to take us to good ramen restaurant. It was worth it! We were so happy to finally eat good Asian food again!

Ramen yes please!!!

Looks so plain tastes so good!

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