Blogs from Alcatraz, San Francisco, California, United States, North America


I have visited Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay many, many times (after the Federal prison closed). I have been fascinated by the island, like many people, both during its notorious Federal prison days, as well as after. As a young boy, I followed the escape (1962) of Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, and enjoyed the subsequent movie, "Escape from Alcatraz." Then the closure of the prison, and subsequent occupancy of various Native Americans. I also enjoyed the fictionalized movie, "The Rock" with Cage and Connery. But I have never read this story. It is also the story of assimilation for immigrants and Native Americans. And the story of disenfranchisement, and social injustice. Read for yourself, as it was fascinating. read more
Love to visit this island
The Rock:  Alcatraz

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » Alcatraz December 15th 2019

After lying awake for four hours in the wee hours battling jet lag (and booking a Santa visit at Macy’s at 3am local time), I was genuinely hoping that San Fran would live up to its reputation of not having bad coffee. Not so. I have now had what I am aiming for as the worst coffee of the trip. Let’s hope the aforementioned objective of not visiting Starbucks doesn’t destroy that very low-set bar. But there was an upside - truly the greatest almond brittle I’ve ever tasted, with chocolate and sea salt...lucky they suckered us in to buying a big container to take home. Since Sydney got another light rail line today (no transport nerdiness here), we thought we’d branch out from our success with the buses and try the street cars (not to ... read more

Wow what a tour Alcatraz was! The National Park Service provides an amazing audio tour narrated by former guards, prisoners, and warden families. We picked up our headsets and audio players shortly after arriving in the prison and it walked us through the prison's history, structure, internal processes, famous occupants, and narration of escape attempts. It is so well done that Mi Hyon and I gasped or laughed simultaneously throughout the tour; it really brought life to the place! Cost of the ferry is $37.25, but it's an all encompassing cost and we considered it a bargain! I think winter is the best time to see Alcatraz and most of San Francisco since crowds are smaller and the weather isn't that much different...according to Mark Twain. In the summer, the website recommends reserving Alcatraz tickets as ... read more
Rush Hour Ride in
Cupids Arrow
World Famous Fisherman's Wharf

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » Alcatraz August 17th 2017

Dienstag, 15.08.17 Wie wahrscheinlich ist es… …. dass dasselbe Pärchen, das wir auf der Wanderung zum Rangitoto-Gipfel vor Auckland getroffen haben, einen Tag später im selben Flieger nach Fiji sitzt? … dass uns eines von vier Pärchen, die zur selben Zeit den Helikopterflug gebucht haben, einen Tag später auf der Fähre nach Alcatraz begegnet? … dass Daniela über den Tag verteilt dreimal die Uhrzeit richtig schätzt (plus/minus 2 min) und ich zweimal trotz Uhr die Umrechnung von 14 auf 4, ähm 2 nicht zustande bringe? Also heute ging es zu Mittag auf die Gefängnisinsel Alcatraz. Tatsächlich war es nur für ca. 30 Jahre ein Gefängnis. Davor war es eine Militärstation und danach wurde die Insel für einige Zeit von indianischen Aktivisten besetzt. Wir bekamen eine ziemlich coole Audiotour durch das Gefängnis und hörten von den unterschiedlichen, ... read more

Nous avons (presque) traversé le Golden Gate Bridge à vélo. En route, nous avons eu la chance de voir des baleines dont une qui se croyait à Marineland et qui nous a fait un show magique ! Adrien a ensuite tenté l'expérience de passer sous le Golden Gate Bridge avec son kite. Il faut que le vent soit au rendez-vous, le brouillard pas trop présent (ce qui est très rare à San Francisco) et que tout cela soit coordonné avec la marée. L'expérience a bien commencé jusqu'à ce que le vent tombe... Adrien a rapidement réussi à se faire des amis qui l'ont pris en stop sur leur voilier !... read more
Comptez le nombre de dent
Marius sans bosse sur le front

It was sixty-five and sunny the day my family and I took a boat from San Francisco bay to Alcatraz. It only took about ten minutes to reach the minute island. The first thing that caught my eye when I got off the boat was a small souvenir shop. It seemed so out of place on this once highly guarded location. We listened to the tour guide give a brief history lesson on the establishment of the prison. I would be lying if I said I listened to what he was saying. I was more interested in the huge body of water that was surrounding me. There were sailboats spanning all across the bay and massive sea gulls diving into the ocean. After receiving a pamphlet containing all of the information that the guide just covered, ... read more

Off to Alcatraz! I was so excited for today, when booking my trip I was deciding whether to fly into LA or San Francisco and I thought that LA would be cheaper, but there wasn't really anything pulling me to visit there. When I found out the flights to San Francisco were the same price, it was a no-brainer. One of the reasons, I wanted to visit was to go to Alcatraz, when I was younger (a lot younger), a co-worker had been and had lent me a book written by one of the former prisoners, I can barely remember his life story now, but since then I've always wanted to visit. And after watching 'The Rock', one of my favourite films when I was a teenager/at uni. I had read online that you needed to ... read more
Approaching Alcatraz
Approaching Alcatraz
Approaching Alcatraz

Day 9 Well last full day in San Fran and another brill time. Walked up Powell and down to fishermans wharf to catch the ferry to Alcatraz. Walked around the Island before heading up to the cell block for the audio tour. When you arrive you are in the shower room where all new inmates arrive, and it hits you how new inmates must have felt when they arrived on The Rock. Walking around the cells and listening to the audio you do get a sense of how life must have been like for the prisoners. What got me was how cold the place was and its summertime. Got to solitary cell block D where all the infamous inmates were housed, Capone, The Birdman, Machine gun Kelly. Finished the tour , caught the ferry back for ... read more

What a day!!! My alarm woke me up at 6.30, and I dragged myself out of bed, got ready and navigated myself through the streets to catch a cable car. With more unnessercery long videos of the cable car ride (The videos are temporarily out of order on this website but I'll put them up as soon as they fix it!) I made it down to pier 39. This is basically the tourist trap of San Fran, but I love it. Its a vibrant, colourful, tacky and almost fairground like area on the dock. I still had hours before my Alcatraz booking, so at around 7.30am I wandered through the empty pier 39. The locals were all setting things up and I vaguely felt like an intrusive tourist who was just too early. (Like when passengers ... read more

San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to live in...and with a maximum security prison located only 1.25 miles off into the bay.... read more
Ferry Ride

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