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Exploring San Francisco

Not to plan AGAIN - Day 5

sunny 11 °C
View USA 2016/17 on vansantjordan's travel map.

This morning we had to get up early to check out of our hotel, and head to pier 33 to buy tickets for Alcatraz island. As we had left it to the last minute, all the online tickets had sold out, however they keep some to sell during the day. We managed to score tickets on the first ferry out at 8:45am. This gave us enough time to quickly go to a cafe and get some breakfast before heading off. It was another amazing day as far as weather goes. It was sunny, crisp and not breadth of wind! The ferry out to the island took about 10 minutes and gave nice views of the bridge and looking back at the city, but nothing compared to the views from the island.
Once on the island we are given a brief induction and explanation of how things work. We then go and watch a short film about the history of the island. This gives us a great look into the past a present happenings of the island. We then walk up to the prison and begin our audio tour of the prison. This is through a iPod type device and tells you where to walk, and what everything is. It also tells you stories and facts about the prison and it's history.
It is a great tour, that is easy to follow and fun to listen to. The rangers are also stationed at certain places telling more in-depth stories about escapees from the island, both failed and successful attempts. Once we had finished this part of the tour we wondered around the island to take in the views it offered of the city and bridge, just phenomenal.

We then caught the ferry back to pier 33 at about midday. It was a great trip, and defiantly something i would recommend to anyone coming to San Francisco, however it was quite expensive. We then went for a walk along the wharf to pier 39, the biggest one in San Francisco. It was pretty amazing, kind of set up like a full time carnival.
We stopped at a sea food restaurant and got the famous clam chowder and some fries for lunch. It was quite nice, didn't really taste like sea food, and quite salty. We then continued walking along the wharf towards Fishermans Wharf and Hyde street.
Hyde street is the famous street you see in all the pictures of the tram going down the steep street. We planned on catching the tram up the street, however the line was massive, so we decided to walk instead. The views from this were once again amazing, and the buildings and streets were so cool.
We stopped of at Lombart street, which is the windiest street in the world.
We then continued back to our hotel, stopping at a coffee shop quickly for what looked like a nice coffee. The coffee wasn't bad, but what happened next WAS bad, and frustrating, and made me want to scream!!! There was free wifi at the cafe, so i checked my facebook, snapchat and instagram, and also decided to download all my emails on my phone. While doing this i noticed an email had come in from Southwest Airlines saying we had a flight change. We were flying with them that afternoon to Denver, however we were also flying with them in 4 weeks time to New York. I just assumed it was a change for that flight. However, when I opened it, it said our flight to Denver tonight was CANCELLED!!! I could not believe it. I thought we had used up all our bad luck by now, but obviously not. It told me to go onto their website to select a new flight, however the soonest flight i could pick was at 9:20pm the next night. I thought it must have been a mistake so i called them up. Sure enough, that was the soonest flight they could offer me. As the cancellation was due to weather in Denver, the airline would not cover any additional charges. It is lucky that we have travel insurance so our extra nights accommodation is paid for. Very frustrated at the turn of events, we went back to our hotel and rebooked our same room. We were extremely tired so we just chilled out in our room for a bit till dinner. We were looking for a little Mexican place for dinner, however, when we walked past it looked extremely seedy, so we kept walking. Lucky we did keep walking because we found an awesome winter festival that was running. There was a street closed with a heap of food vans right outside Union Square. We both had a mango lassi, and a traditional Hungarian flat bread. They were both delicious! We had a look in the gigantic apple store and around Union Square, before heading in for the night. We will now have an extra day in San Francisco, one less day skiing, and a very late night tomorrow night!!

Posted by vansantjordan 17:39 Archived in USA Tagged sanfrancisco holiday usa amazing alcatraz goldengatebridge cancellation lombartstreet hydestreet

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Sorry about the cancelled flight, but just think of the positive...the bad weather which cancelled your flight has brought more snow to the mountains in Colorado which will just make the skiing even better once you get there.

by Richard

Yes, That is very true!! If only we were there before the storm so we could have enjoyed the fresh snow!!! :)

by vansantjordan

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