pretty in pink, maximum and solitary confinement to the right
Todays journey was a visit to Alcatraz. Most of what I learned or heard about Alcatraz was wrong!
A short bike ride from downtown brings you to Pier 32 , where you catch a ferry ride over to the Island. A nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge -(watch THE BRIDGE documentary about those who jump from it to their death - AMAZING!)
ALCATRAZ was initially built as a fort to protect Californias at the gold rush! It was then used for military prisoners. The island is also where the first Pacific Coast lighthouse is located! Of course , it is a bird haven, as there are no bird predators and actually the island was named after the Pelican (Spanish La Isla de los Alcatraces!)
So most go out here to look at and hear stories of the prison, but it actually has beautiful birds and gardens which were set up by the many prison guard families who lived here over the years.
giant agave with saw like teeth grow on one side of island, great plant for this place!
So the prison was creepy & haunting, great audio tour! Not sure how accurate and true all the stories were. The "bird man" didn't actually have any birds, no one successfully 'escaped", no one really knows what cell Al Capone (who was "crazy" due to syphilis) "lived" in and prisoners there were sent not necessarily those who had committed the most violent or heinous crimes, but they were the convicts most in need of an attitude adjustment–the most incorrigible and disobedient inmates in the federal penal system.
shower room (2x a week)
typical cell, 5'x 9' x 7' tall
cell block B
view back to San Francisco, only a 1.5 mile swim, one prisoner did escape and swam back however, he was found washed up on beach and someone called the cops as they mistook him for a dead body!