Sunday, 5 February 2012

Alcatraz, San Francisco, 2007 Part 1

I have been to San Francisco twice so far. I cannot remember the date of the first trip but I wanted to visit Alcatraz. I went to Fisherman's Pier/Wharf to make enquiries. It seems that day trips are always sold out. If you want to go Alcatraz on that day, you would need to approach the touts around the booth and you would have to sign up a package with them, which includes a day trip of the city.

I did not want to do that as I have already explored the city. So I vowed to visit SF again so that I can go to Alcatraz.

That happened on 2007. This time I was prepared. I did not want to deal with touts. Before my trip, I booked myself on Alcatraz Cruises for the evening tour. I just need to turn up at Pier 33 on  May 5th 2007 and off we go.

I booked myself on the evening tour as according to the website the evening tour was the most complete.

Check out my Part 2 of my Alcatraz trip here.

This is a view from the boat, of the SFO-Oakland bridge. As you can see, it was a nice day.

A view of our departure point, Pier 33. On the background, on the left is the Transamerica Pyramid and on right, Coit Tower. 2 distinct feature of SF's skyline.

Another view from Pier 33.

And off we go.

A view of San Francisco as we pulled away from Pier 33.

Before we reach Alcatraz, it is better if I show you this map which I lifted from to get a better orientation of the island.

As we come around to from the East. The buildings on the left are the prison block and the lighthouse on the right. Next to the lighthouse was the Warden's House.

Another view of the prison blocks. The white specks you see on the cliffs are hundreds of seagulls.

On the other end of the island. There is the Water Tank. The wall below the water tank is the Recreation Yard. The building on the foreground is the New Industries Building.

Another view of the New Industries Building. This is where prisoners could have jobs while serving their sentences. It is called New because the old Model Industries Building was discontinued due to a breakout.

As we turned around the tip of the island, we can see the original Model Industries Building. The prison guards could not see what was happening on the ocean face of the building and that could be the reason there was a breakout .

As we moved around, we pass the Power House. This was built on 1909 and still standing. It was built on the 1857 North Battery foundation.

 The next building on the foreground is the Post Exchange/Officer's club. It was built in 1910 and 'destroyed by fire in June 1970.'

I managed to obtain these pictures from to show how the original building look like.

Same building in 1915.


The next buildings are part of the original structure on Alcatraz. It consists of the guardhouse and a 'chapel' on top of it. There has not been any proof it was used as a chapel though. Below the guardhouse was the first prison originally used.

As we are near the docks, we passed the barracks/apartment buildings. This was originally used as the barracks for the soldiers on the island. Later it became the housing for prison staffs and their families. We have come full circle as you can see the lighthouse on the background and the warden's house on its left.


Coming towards the docks. The background shows the lighthouse and the warden's house.

There is a sign when you reach the docks. There is graffiti saying 'Indians Welcome'.

This was the original picture when Native Americans overtook the island on Nov 20th 1969 until June 11th 1971 to protest for their rights.

As we got off the boat, this is the view of San Francisco. Imagine, being sent to this island to spend time and the last image you see is this image of the city.  

Remember, this is only Part 1 of my Alcatraz trip.
Do not forget to check out my Part 2 here.

No comments:

Post a Comment