Fran met us at 10 and we drove out across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is an extraordinary construction achievement. I had no idea it was over a mile long, but, no, it doesn’t sway when you cross it!
We drove through Sausalito and went to Tiburon for brunch at Sam’s, which is a beautiful restaurant in an even more pretty little town, overlooking a marina. We had a delicious meal – mum had a salmon Caesar salad, Fran, Dad and I had burgers. We then shared a nut-free brownie sundae (called a Mondae). We then returned to Sausalito, to have a walk through this (also pretty) little town and take in the beauty of the little town and the houses on the neighbouring hillsides. Mum apparently held a seed in her teeth for a cockatoo to take from her. Rather her than me!
We then returned to San Francisco proper, where we dropped mum and dad at Pier 49 to go and see the seals, while Fran and I caught a ferry to Alcatraz.
Alcatraz is creepy, even in blazing sunshine and the clearest skies San Francisco can ever recall seeing. What it would be like in the fog and the cold and the dark, I can’t begin to imagine. It’s cold, and shadowy and primitive and not a little chilling. The basic nature of the cells, and their absolutely tiny size, causes a genuine shudder, and being somewhat claustrophobic doesn’t help. It is just like you’ve seen on TV, but MUCH smaller in real life. There are a lot of metal stairs, and despite the fact that, outside, the birdsong and the silence of the wind in the trees is quite calming and beautiful, the clanging inside must have been deafening, as every footstep reverberated against the stone walls and glass roof. How to not be permeated by a sense of foreboding and doom, I don’t know. And I could leave at any time!
Then we returned to the mainland and a drink at Pier 39, before the sadness of goodbyes and boarding the ship with 15 minutes to spare. I was so exhausted, there was no way I could change for dinner, so I just went in my jeans and polo shirt. We have two new people at our table. Wayne and Sherri are Americans, doing the SF to Vancouver thing (remember Jones’s Law?). They’ve been to Alaska before and are desperate to do it again. They live in Boulder City, near Vegas, so it’ll make a nice change from the desert for them! Wayne is into golf (nobody’s perfect) and works in construction and they are both very pleasant company. That’s me done. I’m going to bed.
P.S. Today was the first day my sunburn didn’t hurt, so it was obviously the day it started to itch and peel. Stands to reason.