24 Nov - After breakfast we went to the ferry building to find out about trains as we need to cross the states some way or another. The street in front of the ferry building was filled with stalls as they have a market there every single day. It was all food - off course! We also received heaps of free stuff which kept us going the whole day and which meant we did not have to go to bed hungry. Just joking mom and dad! We got 5 different kinds of coffee, 3 different kinds of energy drinks and chocolate. The people handing out the free stuff probably feel sorry for us, as the beggers are better dressed than Dan ;-)
We then walked around at the piers again where we bought a memory card reader - that is why you can see some of our photos and we also went to the fortune cookie factory. I expected a factory but got a shop. It is really cute, the shop hand makes all the fortune cookies and you can even get them in different colours including PINK. At the wharf a guy was making a painting with spraypaint and a piece of metal - WOW. It is impossible to describe but it was really something amazing.
For lunch we went to the Rainforest cafe - another well deserved WOW! It totally feels like you are in the Amazon on one level and trying to find Nemo on the next. They have animals moving and making loud noises. Every hour the ground shakes and thunder flashes across the ceiling. The ceilings spray fine mist which gives you the total rainforest atmosphere. There are snakes hanging from trees, gorillas shaking trees, waterfalls and aqariums with big fish. It is such a cool experience!
- Please be aware that all animals referred to in the above paragraph, except the fish, are not real and move due to mechanical interior.
Back in our neck of the woods we went to the cheesecake factory. It is like visiting Charlie and the chocolate factory. You go up a special lift and when the doors open it is all go. The waiters (Umpalumpas) have cute overalls on and you can find any cheesecake flavour your heart desires - even pumpkin. Walking back home we walked past a store with the name Pink. All the clothing inside carries the "I love pink" logo - they just know the way to my heart.
25 Nov. Today we went to Alcatraz where the saying goes: "Break the rules and you go to prison, break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz. We had to take a ferry to get to the remote island. Once there you walk up a steep hill (yip yet another hill) and then you enter the prison. We received headsets as it is a self guided tour. They give you the history of the prison, make you go into tiny cells , you see where they ate, showered and have prisoners talking over your headset in stereo - spooky. The prison is also ice cold inside and the walls are filled with photos of ex-prisoners. Some cool history: There were two escape attempts made at the prison. One attempt involved 5 scary looking men (yip I saw their photos). They managed to sqeeze the bars open with a thingamajik they made and squeezed their bodies through. After knocking some guard over the head they managed to get into the gun room and get some guns. To make a whole story short they had 8 guards which they kept prisoner - ironic - and could not find the key to open the large steel door to freedom. The reason for this is that one of the guards hid the key as soon as he realised what was going on. Anyway the prisoners shot the guards and were shot and executed themselves. The other attempt was made by 3 guys. These guys made fake heads with paper, cement and paint. They used spoons to make a whole in the wall of the cells through which they climbed. They then climbed up the pipes in the wall until they got to the roof, they managed to escape but was never seen or found so it is believed that they drowned or froze from the ice sea water through which they had to swim to get from the island to San Francisco. The reason why the guards were not allerted is because the fake heads were carefully placed in their beds so when the guards did their rounds it looked like they were fast asleep. Very clever.
The scariest of all was, when you exit the prison you walk through a gift shop and sitting there is Mr Coon. A famous ex-prisoner. After he did his time he wrote a book and now sits in the gift shop and signs copies for those who purchase a book - freaky! When we arrived back on land in San Francisco we walked and walked and walked and then decided to go back home as the city is too big to walk everywhere. Once we had a 3 hour nap we went looking for food and I found wholemal pizza - SCORE!