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Old 22 Apr 19, 05:02 PM  
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Let's go... to San Francisco March 2019 - Day 6 (San Francisco - Alcatraz & Brewery Tour)

Friday 29th March 2019

Lets goto San Francisco
March 2019

Cast (its the usual one!)
Me: Shaun, 50s, loves travelling, eating and drinking (not necessarily in that order!)
Alison: 50s, ditto to the above!

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Another day and only to find once again that Alison was wide awake early as usual as I had slept on for a considerable bit longer. Somehow I seem to adjust reasonably well to local time but struggle a bit when going home, whereas Alison is the other way round. We relaxed for a while, drinking coffee, reading, surfing the net etc! As it got lighter we realised how misty/foggy it was the forecast was for good weather though, so we hoped it would burn off as the day went on.

Today is our Alcatraz trip and something Id been looking forward to for a while now.

We slowly got ourselves together before taking breakfast in the lounge and then helping ourselves to a couples of soft drinks to take away for the day.

We headed out - taking a photo of this structure on the hotel steps

We headed out to the Powell & Hyde St Cable Car turnaround. Interesting in that these only travel in one direction so have to be turned round for the return journey at each end of the line.

We werent sure if we needed a day pass or longer for transport so just decided to pay the 7 dollars for a one way, cash only trip. Didnt get to stand or sit outside this time round although we did manage to do so later in the trip.

We stopped by the Boudin bakery again and picked up some take out sandwiches for the day and a quick restroom stop. We needed to get some food and drink as we knew there was nowhere to purchase anything on the island.

We arrived with plenty of time at the boarding area at pier 33 and got on our allocated time slot ok, the boat was huge and swallowed up a huge amount of people in one go. Wed already printed our tickets so avoided the long queues thankfully (its essential to get here on time as they run a standby line for any customers that arent ready to board 10 minutes before sailing).The trip to the island didnt take any time at all, about 15 mins tops, and soon we were disembarking to the dockside.

We all had a brief talk and introduction from one of the rangers and various things where pointed out before we had a brief video of the history of the place. I had no idea about the Indian references painted here and there but all became clear after we learnt about their temporary occupation of the site.

We wandered around and took some photos, before thinking about the main tour of the jail.

We noticed there was a scheduled chat about to take place in the canteen so we sat down and waited for the talk about the 1962 breakout which apparently was successful but there is still some debate!

Fascinating talk as it was something I was previously aware of and seeing the actual cells later brought it all to life. We collected our free personal headsets and began our audio tour. Really well done and quality audio descriptions from ex-inmates really brought life in the prison to life great stuff!

After we finished the tour we walked back down to the jetty and ate our lunch on the picnic benches waiting for the next ferry back to the mainland. Delicious!

The views from the island over to the mainland were amazing!

On the way back we sat outside and watched Alcatraz receding...

After docking on the mainland we disembarked then quickly downloaded the MuniMobile app to buy bus tickets so we could easily hop on and off trains, streetcars and buses. A real bargain at $5 for a one day pass.

We had plenty of time left before our next activity so we took a historic streetcar so came home, dropped stuff off and set off again.

Time to take the Muni train this time and once on the platform we could see that a train was due shortly. Whoosh! In comes the train and its only 2 carriages long? Typically, we were at the wrong end of the platform and it soon took off. The reason I mention 2 carriages is that the platform could easily take 12 14 carriages. No worries, a bit like the London DLR the service runs every couple of minutes so no big deal.

This afternoon we were going on our pre booked brewery tour. We do love a brewery tour we previously done these in Dublin (Guinness), Boston (Harpoon) and Suffolk (Adnams). We got the train 1 stop to Civic, then bus 19 about 15 stops deep into Soma district. The hills were pretty steep around here!

We went in and were welcomed to the tap room to start the tour and was given a sample or two of their best-selling famous Steam Beer.

We then toured the brewery learning about brewing methods, hops etc.

before finishing up with a full on tasting session of all the beers they have! I thought itd be rude not to sample everything they had on offer and have to admit the Christmas 2016 Ale hit the spot perfectly, shame it wasnt available for sale.

We staggered out and just missed the bus by the smallest of margins, rats!, but the next one wasnt too far behind once wed figured out where the actual stop was. In a while the bus landed us back to the hotel where we visited the lounge

had some hot food and drinks before going back to our room. We just relaxed and watched TV before Alison fell asleep early (nothing to do with the beer Im sure!)

Edited at 06:43 PM.
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Old 10 May 19, 07:44 PM  
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great photos, thanks
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