I almost visited Alcatraz back in 2013. I even had a ticket and all, but unexpected government shutdown closed the sight, I was refunded and missed my chance. In 2019 everything changed (:
I bought a ticket, arrived to the pierce in time, the weather was perfect. So I went to a ferry and...
...got to the island.
There is a special guy who explains the rules to newcomers and let you explore the ex-prison territory on your own. Just don't miss return ferry (:
All visitors have prints like this one. It's your ticket to the ferry (fortunately it's not required for the back ferry way).
It passed a few dozen years between prison closure and opening of national park. The only major thing happened between it was Alcatraz occupation by native American in 1969. According to state law back than, any abandoned federal land should be handed over to native Americans who once occupied it. There were up to 400 people living on the island. However already in 1971 all the people were removed from the island and the occupation was ended. Nevertheless it attracted huge international attention to the problem.
Almost nothing changed inside the prison since the closure. It looks like, hm, like a prison.
The shower. They even put a soap there!
Corridors doesn't look welcome.
In these cells prisoners were held.
Local library. According to stats prisoners read a lot. Especially they enjoined serious philosophical works...
The island is quite close to San-Francisco. It was one of the reason the prison was closed at all. Some ex-prisoners shared that in still weather they were able to hear sounds of big city. It made they time in cell much more harder, cause the free life was so close, and yet so far.
This prison had only special prisoners who didn't behave well in another prisons. Like prison break attempt or something similar. It was a severe strict regime.
That's why prisoners continuously tried to escape. Officially there was no successful breaks from Alcatraz.
However there was one group which escaped, but they were never found. Neither alive, nor dead. It's believed that guys just drown. Nobody knows what really happened though.
There is a real ex-prisoner on the exit. He wrote a book about his years in Alcatraz. Nowadays he comes to the prison time to time to sign a copy of his book. He's not young, but looks quite good.
A few blocks away from Alcatraz pierce there is Pier 39. Chowder I had there was amazing (:
As a bonus there are sea bears nearby.
A couple of photo from amazing Moon Bay trail. I also was quick enough to visit Stanford and Palo Alto, unfortunately photos weren't good enough.
This is it for my US trip this autumn. Hopefully there will be more (:
PS. A special thanks to my friends who welcomed me in California. It was fun.