So we are back in San Fran this morning, and repeat yesterday's routine of check out. We took our bus to pier 33 where the ship to Alcatraz leaves from. Take note that tickets for any Alcatraz tour are sold out up to a week in advance! So the only ticket we were able to get was a combi-ticket with Angie island – the Elli island of the west. Our ferry first headed to Angie island. It was all foggy and misty this morning. On Angie island a little tram took us on an island tour which explained the background and history of Angie island as military area, immigration check and now a National Park. There are a few stops from where you are supposed to have a perfect view of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and some other scenic views. But with so much fog around, we saw nothing. The one hour tour ended at the ferry terminal, where we had time for a snack
. While we were eating the sun came out and the fog cleared. But Angie island was nothing special for us. But you are able to hike there if you like. We were all looking forward to the next stop – Alcatraz, the Rock. Upon arrival a ranger greeted us, informed us about the locations on the island and that he does a free tour on escapes in 10 minutes. We waited and joined him. So there were 14 attempts of escape on Alcatraz by 34 people. Some tried it twice. 5 people are still unaccounted for, so whether they made it or were swept away by the waves – no one knows. After the guided tour we went inside the main prison building where we got our headsets and took off on a very interesting self-guided tour with lots of background information from former prisoners. If you break the rules you get to prison, if you break the prison rules you get to Alcatraz, was printed on one fo the signs. We took our time and we took almost 3 hours to discover Alcatraz. One thing was clear: the best view of San Fran you have from Alcatraz. And this was also part of the punishment for the prisoners – to be so close to a city, see the beauty, hear the bells of the cable car, the smell of the Ghiradelli chocolate factory and not being able to be there. That drove some of the prisoners to try to escape. We waited 10 minutes for the next ferry back to San Fran, headed on a bus to get some Italian food at North Beach – part of Colombus street is like a Little Italy, lined with Italian restaurants on both sides. Great food! We got ready, got back to the motel and started a small part today of our long drive down the California 1 to Los Angeles. We drove roughly 2 hours today and slept in a motel along the way.