If you had only one day in San Francisco and had never been there, what would you see? We have visited a few times and decided to take the Alcatraz Cruise over to the island. We bought tickets online a few weeks ago. We got the 10:30 ferry.
The spectacular Golden Gate Bridge poking through the fog
And to the east - the Oakland Bay Bridge
Once on Alcatraz, we heard a Park Ranger give a short overview of the history of the island and then walked up to the top to begin our individual audio tour.
The audio tour was fantastic. Once you have the headsets, you can move along as directed from point to point on the grounds, or you can pause and take your time. It was very well done. Full of stories, history and anecdotes about the people who ran the place and those that lived there.
Originally the island had a lighthouse, then in 1868 became a military prison. In 1933 it became a federal penitentiary and was closed as one in 1963 by then-Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. Over the years, infamous characters such as Al Capone, Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz), Machine Gun Kelly and Doc Barker were housed there. Today it is a National Recreation Park and run by the National Park Service.
The return trip on the ferry I may never forget! We had to wait because they were running the last race of the day for the America's Cup. Yes - THE America's Cup. The ferry got underway after the last race between the Oracle (USA) and the New Zealand boat. We learned what was going on and Kelly started following the events on Twitter to get a moment by moment update. Sure enough, the USA boat won both races of the day and were finishing up.
Meanwhile, we got some good photos -
And front row seats! All the support and official boats were nearby after the race. And as far as I could tell, we may have been the closest spectators. We were stunned! People pay big bucks and hope to see this up close and personal. And it happened on our return ferry ride!
We made our way down the wharf and stopped for some lunch. Mine was a chicken club sandwich on sourdough bread.
Then we walked along the wharf and down Embarcadero Street to see what we could see.
After a while, we made our way back down to our car which was only a couple of blocks from the area where the America's Cup was set up.
It was getting late, so we made our way out of the city by way of Lombard Street and Chinatown. Then we got into the traffic and made our way out to Redwood City. We found a great Chinese Restaurant there - The Crouching Tiger. I don't know if I have every had better Chinese food.
It was a beautiful day in San Francisco and one we will remember for a long time.
Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles! And thanks for your comments ~ we always enjoy them. Until next time.