Alcatraz - Nice place, shame about the draft...
Sep 8, 2004
Yep - twas the day we went to Alcatraz...
To go to the 'traz you can onlygo with Blue and Gold lines, so we headed down to the pier for midday, as requested. The boat to the traz was a deadbeat old thing with a takeaway bar. We had learned that there is no food facilities on Alcatraz (In fact it hasn't been altered at all since it closed as a prison) so we stocked up on the boat - hot dogs and apples! Oh yes - we've eaten an apple every day! On the boat the seagulls knew the score - we think they were St Ives Seagulls on holiday because they knew the score, trying to steal food etc. If the seagulls didn't get you then the flys did. Thousands of them - foul!
Once on the island we listened to the park wardens intro and then headed up to the main complex 'The citidel'. We watched a film about the history of Alcatraz (Fortress in the civil war blah blah blah) but all we were interested in was finding out more about the prison, so we headed off to A Block.
The prison is what you would expect... but to be there is not nice. Some people spent 13 years in Alcatraz in the cells - sometimes up to 2 years in isolation. You have to take in the fact that this is a harsh, cold and dirty place. It was set up for those that didn't fit the prison system. Inmates would spend up to 20 hours a day in their cells, going out to the recreation yard only if they were well-behaved. Most spent years in isolation. Some went in "The Hole" - a room with no light and no sound... Really quite horrible. We have taken photos of course... watch this space!
After Alcatraz we were hoping to go to San Fran Zoo but we just didn't have the time. We got back to the Hostel at 4pm and the zoo was closing at 5pm, so instead we went for a drive down Haight Street (Very cool street - equivalent to Camden Market / Carnaby Street). We then went down to Ocean Beach and checked out the Pacific Ocean again - there were sea lions everywhere. We drove back next to the Golden Gate Park - as the sun set!
For tea we went to Subway, then we exchanged email addresses with all our new friends.
Quick shout out to:
Tom - Takes photos for a big night club in London - top boy
James - Great Aussie / NZer - First to point out San Franciso's steaming manholes...
Kathryn / Kayla (NZ) - Top girls - see you in Christchurch!
Lad from Middlesbrough (Sorry forgot your name) - Funny talking about Boro - see you on Linthorpe Rd!!