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tr -just returned

New York City, New...
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tr -just returned

Thanks to everyone who answered my many questions

Stayed at the White Swan Inn-lovely B&B type hotel. Breakfast & wine hr were great. Room was clean etc(see separate review)

Did 5 walking tours with city guides. Well worth the time. The walking tour of the Painted ladies was great but the hills are crazy in SFO

Visited Japantown, did a walking tour of Chinatown, the ferry bldg,Fishermans wharf and Market St.

Took the ferry to Saucelito after visiting the farmers mkt and eating at Slanted door take away-very good

Did he nite tour of Alcatraz-didnt see too big a difference than the day tour

Ate in several good restaurants, separate reviews -the best was Kokkari and Cafe Pescatore.

Saw Beach Blanket Babylon which was hillarious and Tales of the city which was excellent.

All told we had a great wk in SFO

Philadelphia
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1. Re: tr -just returned

Thanks for posting. I'm doing some research for my up and coming trip in June and was on the fence about Kokkari, if I can squeeze it in I might. The +1 loves Greek. Will also check out Cafe Pescatore. Can't wait.

San Francisco
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2. Re: tr -just returned

Thanks for the report -- you saw a lot! Sounds like a great trip.

PA
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3. Re: tr -just returned

Did you take any of the special ranger guided tours that they only do at night on Alcatraz? Which ones were offered the night you were there? I'm interested since I'll be going on a Monday night.

I was going to eat at Kokkari, but I'm going to try their sister restaurant Evvia in Palo Alto. That's where I'll be staying for 5 nights before I get to SF.

Thanks for taking the time to report.

California
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4. Re: tr -just returned

Oh we had a fantastic meal at Cafe Pescatore. Glad you enjoyed it too.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: tr -just returned

ACGambler

We just took the Alcatraz night tour at the end of April. We were on the first night tour. We had previously done the night tour about 5 years ago (right before they changed ferry lines). This time it was a little different. The first time we stopped a few times on the way up (once we landed) and the ranger gave us talks at each stop that we really enjoyed. This time the talks were much briefer (and really only covered the Native American aspect) so we were a little disappointed with that. They did give some background information on the ferry ride over (which they didn't the first time we went) which was interesting.

You then take the self guided audio tour. After that you can pick some of the talks (not tours) which the rangers give or go back to SF. Some of them overlap alittle so it would be hard to do all of them. We were glad we stayed for them -- in fact they covered alot of what we had heard on the last tour regarding the escape. We were interested in two that were overlapping, but were able to hurry from one to the other. We then ended up taking the last ferry back.

I was glad we stayed for the talks that we were interested in. I didn't know they were just given at night (and we weren't offered any ranger led tours -- they may do them in the busier seasons). Other than seeing SF in the day and night with the evening tours, the thing we liked best about the first night tour we had taken was the ranger led talk as we walked up to Alcatraz. If they give the talks during the day also I would probably just take the day tour if we do it again. I think you can walk around the island during the day by yourself (may be wrong about that.

PA
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6. Re: tr -just returned

Thanks for the info MajC. Where are the talks given? Do you have to sign up for them? Did you get to see the hospital ward?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: tr -just returned

It was blocked off while we were taking the audio tour. My daughter said it was open later when we went by it on our way from one talk to the other. (so not sure what that was about) The talks were given in different parts -- like the library, outside looking toward SF, etc. They were listed on a board when we were done with the audio tour and a ranger was present to answer any questions. You didn't have to sign up for them, but the way the times were arranged you couldn't attend all of them. We did 4 (out of 5 or 6) and by then it was time to catch the last ferry back. And the talks were over. We wanted to see 2 that were overlapping and she said it was ok to leave one early to catch the other one.

Again, this was just our experience. We enjoyed it both times we went. I really can't compare it with the day tour since we haven't done that one.

PA
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8. Re: tr -just returned

MajC, thanks again, you are a big help to me. Another quesion. Do you sit on chairs and listen to the talks, or stand in one place? I have mobility problems and can't stand for long periods of time.

Also did you notice the tram that takes you up to the cell block? Just wondering if it was full. i will need to take this up, and it says seats are on a first come basis based on need.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to help me.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: tr -just returned

There were chairs or benches for 3 of the talks. One was pretty full so some people had to stand. Two of the talks were outside. One was started at the top and they stopped at intervals along the path back down to the ferry. Another was outside. Most people were standing, but there were benches in the area (I sat on one and listened). I would ask the ranger which ones would be better for you. It was very laid back and the rangers are very helpful.

I don't know about the tram and am pretty sure it would vary for each tour. It seems they would make as many trips as they needed to accommodate anyone who needed to use it. There are probably people who would hop on it just so they wouldn't have to walk which may be why they say that.

PA
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10. Re: tr -just returned

Thanks again for your helpful info. The tram only goes one trip per boat, I was told, so it doesn't wear down the roadway.