Alcatraz Tour – San Francisco, California – on THE ROCK!

First off, I’d like to start this post by saying Happy Birthday to good ole Dr. Seuss!   Born on March 2nd, 1904 and died on September 24th, 1991.  He will always be one of my very favorite poets.

Now, on with the show!

Last time, we left off with the ferry ride to Alcatraz Island.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
This is where we gathered for tour instructions before we were let loose on the complex.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
There are other buildings to explore than just the main cellhouse, and depending on how much time you have, you could easily spend a good part of your day on the island.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
The Officer’s Club

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Some of the residential apartments.. time worn and ram shackled.. with a door leading to nowhere.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
When you enter the cellhouse, you walk through the “check in” area where new inmates shower in the open and are given their uniforms.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
A typical cell.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
One thing that struck me about the cellhouse was its size.  It is much smaller than what I had pictured in my mind.  It’s still dismal and depressing, don’t get me wrong, but I always had this vision of it being huge and cavernous.  Not the case!

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
See?  Dismal and depressing.  Check.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
This is the view as you start to descend the steps into the “recreation yard”.  There are a few places in the complex where you get beautiful views of the water or the city skyline.  I can imagine it didn’t do much for the prisoner’s moods when they are surrounded by such beauty and knowing they’ll likely never get near it again.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
The recreation yard.  Looks inviting, no?

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Looking back toward the cellhouse.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Jason saw the sunlight on our faces and took my camera to grab this shot.  That’s a clear sign he’s been hanging around photographers for too long. :)

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Solitary confinement, or “The Hole” as it is not so affectionately called.  This area was made famous by several movies, including one of my favorites – Murder in the First starring Kevin Bacon.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Matt in” The Hole.”  I was hesitant to touch anything in the cells.. though I know it’s been washed several times over, there is NO TELLING what has been on those walls and floors.  Ick.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
A bookshelf in the library.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
The pock marks you see in the floor here are from grenade explosions during an unsuccessful escape attempt in 1946, now called The Battle of Alcatraz.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Lighthouse with San Francisco skyline in the background.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Could you imagine seeing that much freedom and never being able to touch it?  During the audio tour, we learned that on New Year’s, the prisoners could hear the sound of merriment drifting across the bay.  Talk about twisting the knife.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
The most famous Alcatraz escape attempt in 1962.  Prisoners enlarged vent holes using crude tools fashioned from spoons.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco
Mock-up of the plaster masks used to fool prison guards on the night of the escape.

Pictures of The Rock - Alcatraz, San Francisco

Ever been to Alcatraz?  Tell me about it!

 

About Erin

Erin Browne and her husband Matt are the people behind the curtain here at Brownie Bites. Together, they blog about recipes they love, places they go, and things that they do. There are also cute dog pictures. Lots and lots of them. You can follow Erin on twitter @erinbrowne.
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Comments

  1. Suzanne says:

    Hi, Erin! I am a friend of David and Amy’s from Chattanooga. I am also a pro photographer. You are a wonderful photographer. We were in San Francisco about four years ago and went to Alcatraz. I find it fascinating! I wanted to ask you…what lens do you use for your travels? I have a Nikon d3 camera with a 28-70 lens, but sometimes I think I would be better off using a lens that has just a little bit more of a wider angle. We travel a lot and and the 28-70 is also just a little heavy and bulky IMO. Anyway, I thought I would ask while I was thinking about it. Thanks! Again…great images!

  2. This was awesome a good friend told me about this prison and just viewing your pictures made me feel like I was there, you a outstanding photographer, I to want to start back taking pictures I  am also love taking pictures of anything that catches my eye. I hope to see more of your work keep it up!

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