While in San Francisco I took the opportunity to visit Alcatraz – something I haven’t done before. The Alcatraz Night Tour was highly recommended to me, as it is longer and more detailed than the tours that are run during the day (and also suited my schedule as I was in SF for work and consequently not free during the day). Suffice to say I’d highly recommend it as well. It was bitterly cold (as San Francisco can be during the summer) and the Bay microclimate and it’s trademark fog were much in evidence, but the boat trip out was great fun and the tour both informative and highly entertaining.
Fog City lives up to it’s name
The Island of Pelicans
The Lighthouse and the remains of the Warden’s house
Alcatraz Island looking towards the Bay Bridge
The entrance to the Administration Building
Lighthouse, with the cellblock behind
Watchtower at Dusk
Leaving the Island
The photography isn’t up to my usual standard as I used my little Ricoh compact rather than the Olympus DSLR, but the chilly greyness and forbidding aspect of the island comes across quite effectively I think. I hadn’t been aware that many of the staff of the Federal Prison lived on the island. It must have felt very isolated as the last boat of the day pulled away each night, although by many accounts the guards had happy family lives while some of the most infamous prisoners in US history lurked but a few metres away.
I’d highly recommend anyone visiting San Francisco taking the night tour of Alcatraz… a very informative and enjoyable 3 hours.