When I found out I was coming to San Francisco, I hoped there would be time to visit Alcatraz. Since I flew in early, I had time for a tour.
I actually went on a night tour, which was a little different than the day tours. There were a few things that were open at night that were typically closed during the day- the hospital and the military barracks.
We set sail right at sundown and got beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the water.
We also boated around the entire island.
Alcatraz was very hilly and steep. We walked up several hills, past broken down buildings to the main prison.
We learned that after Alcatraz closed, some native Americans inhabited the island for a while, and their grafting is still visible in places, like the water tower.
Once we got inside, we received MP3 players for a GREAT audio tour. The line started in the bathrooms, and the showers were what we wrapped the line around.
We learned about the history, escapes, infamous prisoners and more.
Part of the tour took us through the office, outside to the watch tower, and through the dining hall.
The view was beautiful, even in a bleak place.
Once the tour was over, we had time to wander around the island. Since I was alone, it got dark and creepy.
I walked down a long pathway to the industrial building to see the Ai Weiwei art exhibit. Ai Weiwei is a Chinese prisoner of conscious, but he created this exhibit in China and it was brought here to Alcatraz. There was a smaller exhibit in the hospital featuring porcelain flowers. Here, these exhibits were HUGE. this was a BIG DRAGON.
It snaked through the entire hall.
The next room featured Lego portraits of other prisoners of conscious from around the world. It was massive.
I caught a ferry back to the bay and walked back to my hotel. I’m so glad I got to go on this tour. Don’t miss it if you’re in the area.