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San Francisco, part 2 (June 22, 2009)

Riding toward other districts and visiting Alcatraz island in the evening.

Car ride


After hiking up and down the steeply sloping streets, we reached the car rental office and chose a Nissan Xterra, a pretty good SUV for dirt roads.
Then after lunch, we drove toward the distant districts. First, we went to Ocean beach, a beach that runs along the west coast of San Francisco, close to the Golden Gate Bridge. This beach is noteworthy for its strong currents and fierce waves, which makes it popular among many serious surfers but the water was to cold for us to swim.
We crossed Golden Gate Park to reach Haight-Ashbury district which was the centre of the 1960s hippie movement. The area still maintains its bohemian ambiance, though the effects of gentrification are also apparent. San Francisco is also well-known for its colorful Victorian row houses; we couldn’t miss the most famous of them, the Painted Ladies near Alamo Square.

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California
Nice place to play golf.

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California
Haight-Ashbury.

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California
Alamo Square.

Alcatraz and Twin Peaks


The last evening at San Francisco, we did the Alcatraz tour. We really enjoyed the night tour; it was one of our favourite parts of the trip. The couple of hours visit and the boat ride worth the price. The audio guide is well organized and very informative. The sound quality and sound effects are amazing. It seems so real. If you break the rules, you go to prison. If you break the prison rules, you go to Alcatraz! Alcatraz served as a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison until 1963. More than 1500 men served time on Alcatraz during the 29 years the prison was open; the jail held such notable criminals as Al Capone.

Before we got off the ferry, the first thing we saw on Alcatraz is the sign “Indians Welcome” and we were wondering what it was. According to the audio guide, the sign is one of the few physical reminders that in 1969 a group of Native American Indians occupied the island and claimed the same rights as any citizen.
Back to San Francisco, we enjoyed the wonderful view of the city by night from Twin Peaks.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
Look at this actor.

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California
Sunset from Alcatraz.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco from Twin Peaks.

San Francisco, California San Francisco, California

Information


  • Alcatraz Cruises, Pier 33 : The night tour is $33. It’s highly recommended to buy tickets online and buy them weeks in advance.

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