"The Rock" is commonly used to call Alcatraz Island, a maximum high-security prison located in the San Francisco Bay. It housed some of America's most ruthless criminals for almost 30 years from 1934 until 1963. Credit: http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/
Our starting point to go to Alcatraz is at Pier 33. We have already reserved ferry tickets online in advance so we only need to present the confirmation to get the real ticket at the ticket counter. The round-trip ticket including the audio tour cost 30 USD. Well, you can spend as much time as you want on the island just make sure you don't miss the last ferry.
For online ticket click here https://www.alcatrazcruises.com/website/buy-tickets.aspx
Our reserved ferry is at 10 AM but we have arrived very early. As a result, the ticket officer changed our tickets for the ferry at 9.30 AM instead. This is good so we don't have to wait for a long time.
It is time to board into the ferry and it departs not long after. A group of tourists starts to go up to the opened upper deck for taking photos. Maybe we should do that too. How about we just stand there taking photos all the way to the island?
This is the view of San Francisco on a cloudy day. Luckily, the rain stops while we are on the ferry. Anyway, it is still foggy so I can't really get a good picture.
You can see the Golden Gate Bridge from far away and it still looks pretty.
You can bring food and drinks to eat on board. If not, you can buy them here. The toilet is also available.
The ferry has been sailing for only 20 minutes and we are already able to see Alcatraz Island. People are getting excited taking photos like crazy.
Alcatraz is a small island that you can walk around easily. They also have a tram for people with disabilities. We just need study the map first.
I like this map a lot but sadly it is not in English.
The ferry drops us at the landing dock, number 11 on the map and before anything I don't forget to take a photo of the return boat schedule.
Let's take a picture with the sign of Alcatraz Island!
The announcement asking tourists to gather together has been made by the tour guide to give the brief introduction to the island. Some tourists have gone already but I think we should stay because this is our first time here.
We are gathering at the Administration and Warden's office, number 9 on the map.
The tour guide starts to explain about the island and show us around.
This is the Post Exchange/ Officers' Club.
We have decided to separate from the group. We think it is better to walk on our own because we can take photos anywhere we want and it is not comfortable being in a big group of people.
Let's get into the main prison!
This is the shower room and the changing room is next to it.
We walk pass the shower room to line up for the audio tour. For your information, you can also get free Wi-Fi connection on the island.
We have audio tour in hands and ready to start walking through the prison. The starting point is where the sign "Tour Start Here" is.
There are 4 blocks in total in Alcatraz Prison including A Block, B Block, C Block, and D Block. The streets between the blocks are Park Ave., Broadway, and Michigan Ave.
These are the tour narrators in the audio tour.
And these are the prisoners who give a speech in the audio tour.
The audio tour will guide you all along and now it tells us to walk through this Cutoff.
This is an example of how general jail looks like. There are small bed, sink, and table.
On the other hand, prisoners with serious charges will be imprisoned in D Block.
The prison library is here. Well, all the books are gone though.
We are walking out to Park Ave. Street.
The most well-known escape attempt (failed escape attempt) is "The Battle of Alcatraz" led by Bernard Coy on May 2-4, 1946.
Another escape attempt was in 1962 when Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin dug the tunnel by using spoon and climbed through the gap between jails before departing Alcatraz Island successfully into the sea. However, it is uncertain whether they died or made it to the shore.
We are walking back to Recreation Yard where they have a baseball field.
Let's go out and explore the field! Eiei
After exploring this baseball field, don't forget to look for a small door on the wall. It is where you can go out and take a photo of Golden Gate Bridge.
We are back inside and walking on Broadway Street. There is no red carpet here though.
Jails in this block look super real. They look just like there are prisoners living in there right now.
Jail Visitation Area.
The Control Room.
Let's take a break by going out to get some fresh air!
After coming back inside, we have found a board with photos of three officers who died on their duties.
For 29 years, there were 4 wardens in total running this prison.
Alcatraz Gardens, at least there are some flowers garden on the island, even though there are not many.
Kitchen is located further inside the Dining Hall.
Alcatraz Prison officially closed down on 21st March 1963.
We walk down to return the audio tour. This is also where you can purchase some souvenirs to help supporting historic preservation on Alcatraz.
Let's go into this tunnel!
There are theater and bookshop down here. It is perfect for those who would like to learn more about the history of Alcatraz.
The trip on Alcatraz Island ends here. We will take the ferry back to San Francisco before going to Pier 39 to see sea lions.
Lastly, it has been raining today which is not convenient to travel around. Let me take you to go around San Francisco again next time on a sunny day. Eiei
Thank you for your kind support.