The Rock

San Francisco Travel Blog

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Alcatraz Island

I started the day with a trip to Alcatraz Island, also known as the Rock. I got to the pier early, so I could catch the first ferry to the island. My plan was to see Alcatraz, and then go to Oakland for a football game. I got on board the ferry to Alcatraz. More about the actual visiting part of Alcatraz in the review here.

Once there, everyone was given an orientation and history by a ranger. I picked up a map, and walked to the Building 64. I went inside, and saw the artifacts and saw a little bit of a film. Hard to believe that there were people who lived on Alcatraz, and those people thought of it as a small town, without any major problems. By the time the prison closed, the island was briefly taken over by Native Americans.

row of jail cells
This would make sure that they were heard by the government.

I went up the trail, looking at various buildings, until I got to the cellhouse. Once inside, I got an audioguide, which gave an informative tour of the place, given by a former guard. Each row of jail cells happened to be named after some famous street in the US, like Broadway and Michigan Ave.

This was a prison where escape would be impossible. Security was very tight, and even if the prisoners found a way out of the cellhouse, they would have a difficult time getting by the rough waters of the bay. There have been some prisoners who attempted escape, but none that were really successful. One of the notable prisoners held there, was Al Capone, famous mobster from the 20's.

I walked around, seeing the recreation yard and the warden's office, as well as the control room and isolation cells.
jail cell
I did get to see the prison doors open and close, just like in the movies.

I did get to step outside, where I could see the bridges and the city. It has been told that seeing the city and bridges was disheartening to the prisoners, because of seeing it but not able to go to it. Or something like that.

The tour ended in the dining room, where the prisoners ate. After that, I went to the gift shop, and got to see an Alcatraz inmate in person. He was there for a book signing. But still, just unbelievable to see one. I don't remember his name.

I enjoyed touring the prison very much. I remember first hearing about it from the movie "The Rock", believe it or not. I would leave the island via ferry, returning to the city. Then picked up some lunch, and headed to Oakland for a football game.

vulindlela says:
Great photos!!
Posted on: Nov 13, 2009
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Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
row of jail cells
row of jail cells
jail cell
jail cell
ferry to island
ferry to island
Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island
reminder when Native Americans too…
reminder when Native Americans to…
watch tower
watch tower
military chapel
military chapel
watch tower
watch tower
water tower
water tower
Power House
Power House
morgue
morgue
where uniforms are
where uniforms are
inside a cell
inside a cell
jail cell
jail cell
manual
manual
entrance to dining hall
entrance to dining hall
name of jail cell row
name of jail cell row
recreation yard
recreation yard
view of Golden Gate Bridge from ya…
view of Golden Gate Bridge from y…
isolation cell
isolation cell
me inside isolation
me inside isolation
library
library
gun gallery
gun gallery
key
key
cell with memorial to a guard kill…
cell with memorial to a guard kil…
grim reminder where you are
grim reminder where you are
visitor
visitor
wardens house
warden's house
SF skyline
SF skyline
control room
control room
cell with dummy head
cell with dummy head
menu from 1963
menu from 1963
kitchen
kitchen
dining room
dining room
San Francisco Sights & Attractions review
The Rock Must Be Seen
Known as “The Rock”, Alcatraz is probably the most well-known and one of the most notorious prison in the world, located on an island in the bay. … read entire review