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Joyfully married May 15, 2010, living in Troy, AL, Engineer and Pharmacist, "parents" of sweet puppy Gidget...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome to "The Rock"

I know what you are thinking...2 posts in one day?!?! However, I promised to revisit 2 of our favorite tours in San Fransisco, and I keep my promises. On Saturday afternoon we boarded a ferry bound for Alcatraz - headed for a much different experience than those who made this trek years ago! The ferry ride was only about 15 minutes but it was nice (and a little chilly). This little bird wanted to come with us...

And the view was great...

Once we unloaded we were welcomed to the island by a park ranger (as it is now a national park).
After the welcome we watched a quick history video and then began our audio tour of the prison. We were led through the maze of cells and rooms by the voices of past inmates as well as officers at the prison.

It was amazing to learn what went on inside of the prison - the escape attempts as well as the everyday life. It made me want to research and learn more about it! Below you can see the levels of cell blocks...

And the cells were tiny...

The worst criminals got thrown in "the hole." They were inside 24/7 with maybe 1 hour per week outside for recreation. It was completely dark inside the cell and they were totally alone... (p.s. I would be a terrible criminal!)
It's hard to tell from this pic but outside the bars, there was a metal door that was closed to block out all light.

Most inmates had few to no visitors, and were allowed visits very rarely.

It's crazy to think some of the most notorious criminals were housed in this very place. (Can you say Al Capone?!?)

We saw where they ate, slept, showered, exercised...as well as how they escaped and/or tried...

Once we finished the tour and were outside the views were amazing! It was cold and windy but worth it! It was said that, at night, inmates could here the music and laughter from parties in San Fransisco. Here are some of the view of the island...

R with San Fran in the background
Leigh and Matthew admiring the view

I cannot forget to mention the thousands of gulls and other "water birds" that call the island home. They were EVERYWHERE!
It's unbelievable that the families of the officers called this island home, as well. During the years that the prison was operating, the families of the officers lived on the island and the children traveled by ferry to school in San Fransisco every day! It was quite a little community...all centered around the prison!

We decided that we did NOT want to live here so it was time for us to hop back on the ferry and go back to the "mainland."

I admit that I mainly went along with this tour because R was really interested in it, but I was enthralled the minute we stepped onto the island. It was a very educational and interesting experience that I would not miss if you go to San Fransisco.
Once we were back on the ferry the exhaustion and hunger hit us and we looked like this...

I wish I could have posted ALL of the pictures, but I hope you enjoyed this little trip...come back again soon!

1 comment:

  1. I would LOVE to visit Alcatraz! Look at your smile in that cell. Glad to see that your time in prison hasn't hardened you yet :) Thanks for sharing...I'm so glad yall got to do this!