Friday 18 February 2011

Angel Island: a great day out on the bay

Our second weekend in California, and already we had visitors!  We met our Baltimore peeps and hopped on the ferry from Fisherman's Wharf for an excursion to Angel Island.  When we arrived in the freezing fog we were wondering if we had made the right decision in coming - the views of the bay were nowhere to be seen.

California is doing its best to make us feel at home with all the gum trees and wattle, which is nice, and if the views weren't there at least the fog looked pretty.

Luckily the fog did lift, and Angel Island treated us to some fantastic views.  Watching a giant wall of fog roll off the ocean and hit the Golden Gate was pretty amazing.

There is a lot of history on the Island.  Amongst other things, it was the equivalent of Ellis Island for the west coast, i.e. an immigration processing centre.  There is an interesting museum on-site in the old buildings.  It chronicles the poor living conditions imposed on migrants, and the prejudiced procedures designed to keep people out that Barack Obama formally apologised for in January 2010.

You can camp on the island, and a number of people were doing that on the weekend we were there.  It would be a great place to wake up and take sunrise photos of the bay, or tell a ghost story in some of the abandoned Fort McDowell buildings.

The ferry schedule gave us 11am-3:50pm on the island, which was plenty of time to circumnavigate it on foot and wander through the buildings and museum.  Don't rely on the cafe being open - it wasn't for us and we were starving by the time we got back to Fisherman's Wharf.

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