Alcatraz Night Tour
San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
I have been to Alcatraz a few times in my years here in California...but I had never taken the night time tour. The night time tour is the last tour ferry of the day. All the other tourists have been removed from the Island, so there are only as many people as take the last tour...or as they can fit on the boat. It is less crowded. Also there are special attractions to being on the evening tour. Parts of the prison that are closed during the regular tour times, are opened. On this night we were allowed into the hospital ward of the prison. Not only are the special open areas, but their are tour guides that give special presentations. We listened to a docent talk about the "Birdman of Alcatraz", weirdly enough, he never had any birds while he was there.
One of the coolest parts of the nights was due to my son Brian. He wanted to talk a walk where the guide talked about the structures that were left over from when the Island was a military installation. While we waited for others interested in the mini tour, Brian started talking to the tour guide (Brian likes to talk). Brian made some observations about the architecture that I had not even noticed (and I like old buildings).
In the morning, my mother, my sister and our assorted kids set off for Chinatown. One of the things the boys wanted to do while in San Francisco was ride the Cable Cars. So, we hoofed it from the hotel down the Embarcadero to the Cable Car turnaround. We hopped on the cable car and started our ride. Now the rule is children are suppose to sit inside. Well it was crowded so my eldest son (13 yrs) had moved to the door way for a bit more room. The brakeman did not say anything. (Kid looked older than 13 in his leather bomber jacket). This did not make his younger brother very happy, as he had to stay inside. To make it worse, but the end of our ride the brakeman had Brian standing on the lower step, holding onto the hang bar.
Well, we arrived in Chinatown and we started our wandering around. We visted a lot of little shops while the boys decided how best to spend the money I had given them. My eldest son is into swords and stuff so I knew we would be taking home a wooden sword. My youngest son picked out a very pretty silk fan to hang up on his wall. They were both happy with their loot. So we started back for the hotel. Instead of listening to mom and taking the easier (but longer) route we ended up walking. Yes, all the way back. A little over a mile and a half. All up hill (well it seemed like it).