ALCATRAZ: The Rock (Place of no return)

California Travel Blog

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Me inside the prison walls by the large wall photo displaying an arial view of the whole island.

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.

Our cruise boat to and from the Island from Pier 35

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.

The prison sign outside the main building
I felt the chill down my spin just entering one of the cells and began to imagine what it would be like to live an entire adult life in this small narrow room with still bared gates with no privacy whatsoever.

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.

 

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Me inside the prison walls by the …
Me inside the prison walls by the…
Our cruise boat to and from the Is…
Our cruise boat to and from the I…
The prison sign outside the main b…
The prison sign outside the main …
Me getting on the boat to the isla…
Me getting on the boat to the isl…
getting on the boat to the island
getting on the boat to the island
Tourists on the on which I rode
Tourists on the on which I rode
A view of the Golden Gate bridge f…
A view of the Golden Gate bridge …
Passengers on the boat to Alcatraz…
Passengers on the boat to Alcatra…
Arriving back on the Bay from Alca…
Arriving back on the Bay from Alc…
It was chilly and windy too
It was chilly and windy too
Approaching the island
Approaching the island
Approaching the island, clear view…
Approaching the island, clear vie…
Anothe boat to the island
Anothe boat to the island
A third boat tot he island withing…
A third boat tot he island within…
Me, just arrived on Alcatraz
Me, just arrived on Alcatraz
Our boat, I booked Alctraz Cruise …
Our boat, I booked Alctraz Cruise…
D Block
D Block