On the first full day we had here in San Francisco, we had a full day of sightseeing. I’ve been to Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf before when I was last here a long time ago, but had never been to Angel Island. My cousins who I’m traveling with have never been so we got tickets that included both Angel Island and Alcatraz. Before heading over to the ferry we had breakfast at the Embarcadero and walked down to the pier we were leaving from. The ferry ride over to Angel Island was around 45 minutes and there were spectacular views of the Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the San Francisco skyline, and some of the other towns like Tiburon.
On Angel Island we took a guided tram tour of the island, which is a National Park. The only thing I knew about Angel Island prior was that it used to be an immigration station in the first half of the 1900s for those immigrating to the west coast – like Ellis Island on the east coast – and that a lot of Chinese immigrants were detained there. They didn’t really go in to that on the tour though.
Then, we took the ferry over to Alcatraz. We walked around a bit on our own and then did an audio tour of the cell house. So, while I think Alcatraz is really interesting, I also get the creeps being there because it’s just got that haunted feeling, you know? That sort of stuff just freaks me out. Just seeing the cells and solitary confinement where they would keep some of the guys who were causing trouble in the dark for days, weeks, months at a time. Just imagine the evil, psychopaths that were there! I mean, Alcatraz was supposed to be the worst of the worst. In the souvenir shop, I saw an old man there signing books. Apparently he was an inmate at Alcatraz and wrote a book about his time there. Kind of cool but also kind of weird and creepy!
Then, we took the ferry back to San Francisco and pretty much froze to death with the wind blowing! From there we walked a little further down the wharf and walked around Fisherman’s Wharf. While waiting for our dinner reservation we walked over to Ghirardelli Square to check out the chocolate shop and buy some chocolate of course. I took advantage of the walk to Ghirardelli square to take some photos of the infamous steep hills and streets of San Francisco.
Tomorrow I’ll have a bunch of photos from my day trip to Yosemite!