Monday, 25 March 2013

A trip to Alcatraz

When in San Francisco a visit to Alcatraz is a must! Before setting off to San Francisco I found out that tickets to Alcatraz can sell out fast so I made a booking a few days in advance to avoid disappointment. I really recommend booking an early morning time slot, it is a major tourist attraction after all and the afternoons can get very busy. Once on the island you get given an audio guide which you can listen to at your own pace. The tour is very well done and very informative, I loved learning about the history of the place and exploring the prison, although at times it did feel a bit creepy! After the tour I walked around the gardens surrounding the main prison building and admired the view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge. All in all this was one of my favourite things to see in San Francisco and would recommend everyone to visit!

Alcatraz island!

View of lovely San Francisco from the ferry

Bay Bridge


Welcome to Alcatraz






Old  living quarters of the families who used to live there

Inside the prison





Some famous inmates (Al Capone first from left)






The kitchen


View of Golden Gate Bridge











Beautiful gardens around Alcatraz


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Porto Santo (June 2012)

If you are in Madeira and are missing quiet, sandy beaches, take a trip to Porto Santo island! Believe me, you will not be disappointed. There are two ways to get from Madeira to Porto Santo: either take the plane from Funchal airport which is the more expensive option, or take the ferry from the port of Funchal which is what I did. The good thing about taking the ferry is that Porto Santo Line (http://www.portosantoline.pt/index.php) has deals with some hotels on the island making it cheaper to book tickets and hotel together rather than booking separately.
Porto Santo itself is very small, the main town is called Vila Baleira and has a number of cafes, restaurants and small shops. Nonetheless it is enough to keep you entertained for a few days and nothing is better than to relax on the 9km long beach after some extensive sight-seeing in Madeira!
My restaurant tip for the island is a little restaurant called Pe na Agua (https://www.facebook.com/PeNaAgua) located right on the beach. Their menu has a great choice, food is tasty and reasonably priced and it is frequented by locals which is always a good sign. They also provide their own deckchairs and umbrellas which are free of useif you eat there which is a big bonus given that there is barely any shade on the beach.
Would I go back to Porto Santo? Yes, most definitely, the lack of loud tourists makes this the perfect relaxation place. Hope you enjoy the photos below.