ALCATRAZ: The Rock (Place of no return)
California Travel Blog› entry 16 of 33 › view all entries
Did you know that Alcatraz was originally an army fortress? Alcatraz was used by the military as fortress. It was then later turned into a maximum security federal penitentiary by the United States Department of Justice. It was long known as the place of no return because once there the prisoners never left. It was known as the prison that no one can escape from. Movies have been made and books written about this place, I long since wanted to visit Alcatraz, but other destinations always seemed more appealing until the recent San francisco travbuddy meetup. Even though I did not attend, I had bought a ticket, booked hotels and flight. I was not able to get back a refund because my cancellation was practically a day before the travel date, but I was determined to visit the Rock. An opportunity presented itself over memorial weekend, when I realized I had 4 days off in a row, I requested an extra day off work to make it five: two days would be spent travelling and 3 days sight seeing San Francisco and touring Alcatraz, what a memorable experience.
I particularly enjoyed hearing the tale of the former prisoners, guards and wardens on the provided ear phones, everythign was well organized and the narrators took us from one cell block to another narrating what transpired at each block, were were allowed access to what was referred to as the "black hole" .They even showed us where the famous prison break took place and went through a detailed narrative of how the prisoners planned the break out and failed to escape because they could not find the right key. I found there was a lot more history to the island and the hiking from one location to another was amazing. I was able to walk free in the excercise yard that was a privilege to the prisoners: their necessities were water, food, a place to sleep and the rest were luxuries they had to earn.
Alcatraz is a must see while in San Francisco, the Audio tour and free movement in and out of the prison walls is worth every penny, not to mention the coast is very minimal, I think I paid $26.00 only.