We escaped Alcatraz!

Trip Start Nov 03, 2013
Trip End Nov 22, 2013

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What I did
Alcatraz San Francisco
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Today, we reserved some time after breakfast to travel by ferry to Alcatraz, just off San Francisco harbour. We checked the official national park website, and found out we should catch a dedicated ferry off Pier 33, so we headed there after breakfast.

Cost was $30 each, which included the ferry to and from, entrance to Alcatraz and a self-guided audio tour that they provide to everyone on arrival. Couldn't believe the small cells (5' wide x 7' deep x 7' high), with a small sink, toilet bowl, 24" square tin table and seat, and a fold-up bed.

Former prison guards and inmates tell stories about its history and most notorious inmates, riots and escape attempts -- really helped visualize life in the cells or on the job as a guard. One heart-wrenching tale told of lonely inmates in a certain part of the prison who, on New Year's Eve, fell silent as they strained to hear the festive sounds of parties coming across the water from San Francisco.

Also surprised to learn that some prison staff's families lived on the island with them. Children went out to school by boat in the morning and returned after school when the inmates were all back inside the prison. They never saw the inmates, and lived carefree and happy lives there.

We really enjoyed the tour, and returned by ferry exhausted once again. Caught a late lunch then headed back to the hotel to put our feet up before our final evening stroll in beautiful San Francisco.
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