Sunday, February 15, 2009


I've been promising Alcatraz, so here it is finally! After walking the streets of San Francisco all day in the cold (oh so cold) weather, we got on a ferry to see Alcatraz. The ferry took us around the entire Alcatraz Island and a tour guide also told us interesting facts about the island. It was a very pretty ride, but we couldn't be outside so I didn't get any pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bay Bridge.
The ferry ride over.

Alcatraz guard tower.

Officer quarters on "The Rock". The officers lived on the island and also raised their kids here!

Back in the day the officer's club had a lot of entertainment- even a bowling ally!

From outside the main prison.

Inside the main prison.

Inmate cell on C block.

I think the rooms were 6X7X8 feet. The inmates knew every little inch of their cells.

Al "Scarface" Capone

Inmate Library.

Library. Only about 275 inmates were at Alcatraz at one time. I would have thought more.

This was a device used to attempt an escape. Even if the escape was successful, the inmate would have to swim in the freezing water back to land.

Officer's attire.

Coast Guard Lighthouse on the island.

San Francisco from Alcatraz. The audio tour guide said that the inmates could smell Ghiradelli Chocolate from their cells. Many inmates said the hardest part of being at Alcatraz was being able to see the city lights, hearing the people celebrating events like bringing in the New Year, and not being able to participate. They always knew what they were missing.

San Francisco and the Bay Bridge

This was the visitor's room. This was the inmate's side of the wall they could speak to family members through.

The famous escape route.

In the kitchen, all the knives were to be on a board that had their shape painted so that the cooks always knew if knives were missing from the kitchen. Many did go missing.

This is the sering hole from the kitchen to the dining hall.

We were getting ready for the slammer demonstration and we were able to see the moon It was beautiful! I don't know how to get better pictures at night yet... I'm working on it!

This is the famous "slammer". Where you see the numbers is the cell numbers that this device would grab and then open or close. The guy only did about 5 at a time I think. The guy that did the demonstration said he had visited other prisons to see how they work also. He gave some interesting facts. Not until 1938 were the inmates allowed to speak! I can't believe that one! He also said that while at Alcatraz, the sound of the slammer was a constant noise. On all floors there were cells being opened and closed all day long along with whistles and the sound of orders being yelled from the officers. This was NOT a happy place to be and was NOTHING like prisons today. I'm not sure what year, but the guy said that there was a power outage in San Francisco and Alcatraz jailed inmates from other prisons after it was shut down. That must have been scary!

Spooky Building at Alcatraz. By the time we left it was dark, so that was kind of cool.
Okay! That's the end of my adventures in San Francisco. I know this one was long, but now I start blogging like normal!
Hope you enjoyed my trip! Thanks for reading! I will post a little more about the Space "A" travel experience next... not so much first class as miserable!

No comments: