3 things were planned for our first day: Alcatraz in the morning, Adobe in the afternoon and an NBA game in the evening.
First things first though. The room in the hostel. The accommodations are fine, the beds aren’t uncomfortable and we have our own bathroom, but the noise! The windows seem to let through every sound from the street and with this being San Francisco, those noises last deep into the night. I think I woke up every hour or so. At 3am there was a drummer walking down the street that woke all of us up. 1 of my fellow roomies I think woke up as often as I did, because he asked me a couple of times what the time was. I was always surprised how little time had passed.
We had to leave at 7.30am (I think, it was early in any case) and had to have eaten before. I also wanted to take a shower after the previous travel-filled day so I got up at 6am and felt surprisingly awake. After a quick Starbucks breakfast (mmm, chai tea latte) we set off towards Alcatraz. We would be walking there through Chinatown. I knew San Francisco had some hills, but some of them were really steep! I think we were all happy when we saw Pier 39.
Our group got divided over 2 boats to get to the island. I told my friends that I wanted to go in search of the bat cave that Doc Soto works in on Alcatraz. They didn’t get it, so I had to explain the whole premise of the show. My TV jokes and allusions often get lost (as my reference to Lost did a couple of weeks ago). When we arrived on the island, one of the guides was given a little intro, and then a guy who lived on Alcatraz as a kid told a story of how his father (a guard) was almost killed during one of the most brutal escape attempts.
After this we started our proper tour with audio guides. The tour is very impressive, you really don’t get bored. There is so much fascinating history and tidbits. I really liked comparing the fictional stories from the TV show with what actually happened. We had to be back on shore at a certain time to catch a bus to Adobe so I didn’t really have time to go find the bat cave.
When we arrived at Adobe we all had to sign a paper before we got our badges and were allowed inside. This turned out to be an NDA, as we got to see some new software features that haven’t been announced yet. After the presentations by Adobe people some of my fellow students gave presentations on things they had made for school using Adobe products. I was very impressed by what they came up with. I have some very talented people studying alongside me.
From Adobe we took the bus to Oracle Stadium to watch the San Francisco Warriors play the New Jersey Nets (basketball, fyi). Our seats were pretty high up, but we had an amazing time rooting for the Warriors full force. We tried to get the Mexican Wave going, but apparently this is something unknown to Americans. After a couple of tries some of the people sitting with us caught on and joined in but it never went all the way around. The Warriors led by 10 points most of the game, until the last minute. With 50 seconds left the Nets came in the lead by 1 point, and they managed to win the game.
All the side shows that came with the game really made this evening a lot of fun.
When we finally got back to the hostel I was utterly exhausted. I hadn’t expected the days to be this full.