I really didn’t know much about Alcatraz – I haven’t even seen the movie “The Rock” – but we had lots of people tell us that this was a must do on our trip to San Fran.
We set off on our tour as the sun was setting, providing us with some gorgeous views of the island, the bridge and the receding city line.
The tour was really interesting. It was a self-guided audio tour, and you heard the story of Alcatraz told from the perspective of inmates, employees and even families who lived on the island. Walking around the empty, ruined prison at night added a surreal, creepy vibe to the entire experience.
It was somewhat hard for me to reconcile the fact that this was a real place, and not just some movie set I was wandering around. I couldn’t get over how tiny the cells were and how because prisoners were sent to Alcatraz for bad behavior at other prisons, the only things they were guaranteed was food, shelter and medical attention. Everything else had to be earned.
It was maximum security, minimal comforts.
It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip – although I am thankful we were there for just a visit, and not to stay!