Alcatraz

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
1
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11
Trip End Nov 26, 2008


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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, November 22, 2008

      Sunset came way too quickly today. I woke up around 7 and headed out to Pier 39 to get some pictures and kill some time until my alcatraz boat left from Pier 33 at 11. I got bored and decided to go check in early and they got me on the 9:30 departure, which worked out well cause I was headed to Berkeley as soon as I got back.      Alcataz was really really awesome. I had gone there once as a kid, but I don't really count it cause I was a kid who didn't yet know how to appreciate things. Anyway, I did the audio tour. The views from alcatraz are amazing. They have to be the best views from any prison in the world. You can see the Bay Bridge, the city, and the Golden Gate. Unfortionately it won't all fit into the camera frame. I don't know if the views were good or bad for the prisoners...on the one hand they are stunning. On the other hand it must suck to see those views and not get to go to the city. I went into a solitary confinement cell...I don't normally feel claustraphobic at all, but that cell will do it. Especially since you know it's pitch black when they shut the door.
     After the tour I took BART to meet my step sister Catherine at the station in Berkeley. We went and got lunch then drove around. We were going to go to Telegraph Ave. but UC Berkeley was having a game and there was no parking to be found anywhere. Instead we drove to Kensington, which is fitting, since that's where we lived for 7 years. We went past the house we lived in and then found a pottery sale, which is right up Catherine's alley (she's an art major at San Francisco State). The pottery was really cool. The guy says he's been selling it for years, so hopefully when I come back with money some day he will still be selling it.

      After that I took Bart to the Civic Station and walked the ten blocks back to the hostel. Now here I am and somehow it's 6:30. I've been out for over 9 hours and the sun set as I was walking back. I'm not even tired yet. I want to do more stuff. Luckily I still have all day tomorrow and then part of Monday if I need it. Monday I am definitely going to Muir Woods and was hoping to make it to Napa and Calistoga too. Tonight will be spent at the hostel now...Catherine reaffirmed my suspisions that this is definitely not the best neighborhood to be walking around in alone. I will venture out for food in a few minutes...it's really not dangerous, just a bit sketchy and I promise (to any worried family members) that it's fine. Once I get to Van Ness  (only 2 short blocks away) it's really populated and well lit. Tomorrow all I know for sure is that I am doing a Golden Gate tour cause I already paid for it back in Colorado. I take a bus across the Golden Gate. I figure it's better than driving cause I can take pictures without crashing...always a good thing. Yesterday I went the wrong way on Lombard and ended up seeing some stuff I really want to see again. Since that involves driving it will wait until Monday. So tomorrow is the tour and then who knows?
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