You can’t go San Francisco without visiting the Alcatraz! It’s undoubtedly one of the most famous icon in San Francisco! Sitting on its Bay, it also look like a rock from the mainland! Which is why there’s another name for the Alcatraz, The Rock! The name also for the movie which was set in the Alcatraz! The Alcatraz used to be one of the most infamous prison in United States history! The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary or United States Penitentiary was a maximum high security federal prison that house some of the most dangerous criminals in the country! The fact that it’s located off the mainland shows how difficult it is to escape from this prison! However due to high cost and maintenance it was shut down! In the recently history they have turn it to be one of the tourist attraction in the world! I would believe that it’s the only prison in the world that you can go visit for fun! And as a tourist attractions! Follow me in doing a review of the prison! Seeing The World In Steps!
Cruises to the Alcatraz departs from Pier 33, near Fisherman Wharf. I will really suggest anyone who is visiting the place to get the tickets online before you come, in the event that you are earlier than plan, you can also approach one of the manned booth to see if you are able to change the ticket for an earlier one. Tickets for the Alcatraz aren’t cheap though! It cost almost 40 USD for a person! San Francisco is actually pretty spread out and public transport aren’t that well established as well. It is also very hilly, making even short distance tough to manage. I took a uber to the pier and off we go. There was not much of a wait and in no time I was on the cruise. There is ample seating on the cruise, but I will suggest keeping yourself busy with the views of the island itself or of San Francisco, which is breathtaking. Perfect for spamming photos! Check out some of the pictures that I took on the cruise there!
Upon arrival in the Alcatraz, you are given sort of a mini tour and introduction to the place, you also have your first view of the place itself. It was my first time stepping foot in a prison and it had a very different vibe! First of all is definitely the iconic picture that I have to take. There is also a very scary warning sign that says the Alcatraz is 1 and a half miles off the mainland and only government boats are allowed here!
We then head off inside, first up checking the apartment house and guards barracks! Once inside the buildings, you can really see how the years and time have a burden on the place! The rocks are worn out and you can see things getting out of place. Here there is actually a little exhibition showing the history of this place as well as how things are when it is a functioning jail. Also on showcase is also some of the equipment that is being used in the past! You could really see how restricted things are here since it is a maximum security jail with minimum privileges!
Around the island you can find plenty of photo spots, everywhere look so rustic and have such a different vibes. I love how blue the skies are as well! How lovely it is!
It was a little walk up the hill to the main prison complex. Around that you can see buildings such as houses where the guards and their family lives in, the water tank, guard tower etc etc.
You will then come to the main prison complex, this is where the highlight are. The tour is well organised in a direction where it will take you thru all the main places in the complex, such as the kitchen, dining hall, outdoor area, the barracks and even the maximum security cells, which are really eerie and like a dark hole!
First up would be the clothing and supplies area where you get a glimpse of the clothing and stuff that the convicts used.
Then you pass by the shower area! It is unbelievable that humans have to shower in such a way and be so exposed! Tekong Camp seems so much better now! I guess you don’t really have much choice when you are a criminals!
Next up would be the prison barracks. For me, this was the most interesting part, the one that I am really looking forward to! I get to see how the infamous 6 by 8 cells that people always say in those american TV Series! It is like the size of my bed! And then you have to shit pee, sleep all in that little area! Inhuman! You can even enter the cells and experience how it would be like inside there. Some of the cells are open for you to enter and experience it! All of this are actual prison cells that were used in the past! Check out some of my pictures taken here! It will be the one and only time that Dennison is in prison!
Then I also have a chance to experience the dark hole, The very scary cells for the naughty prisons. They are kept here everyday for 24 hours. No light, no windows. I guess the only interaction is that short little 10 seconds when the guards bring you your food and that’s all! Imagine staying in 24 hours in a dark room with nothing. It will sure make a person go insane! Complete darkness, how sad is that!
Next up! Check out the outdoor area where the convicts are allowed one hour of movement every day! They get to play some games, mingle around and feel the sun! But what really is the killer is being able to see the mainland of San Francisco but not being able to be there! For me this is the one that really creates and stir up the feeling of a person!
I also got to see the kitchen where the meals are being prepared for the prisoners. Its seems like the offerings are pretty good! Seems like on 21 March 1963 for breakfast, they get to have cereals, steamed wheat, scrambled eggs, milk, stewed fruit, toast and coffee!
After that I explored the other places around the island, checking out the views and taking more picture before I head back to San Francisco! You can find get outlook over the vicinity, it also boost great view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge! Check them out!
I really enjoy Alcatraz and never did I regret coming here, even though the ticket prices is a little expensive! If you are ever here in San Francisco, this is the one place that you really have to come! After all it is a very unique travel attraction! Hope you are like this!