I have always wanted to visit Alcatraz. I am kind of a history nerd (not to be confused with a history buff). I could sit for hours watching documentaries and I have about Alcatraz. However I’ve only ever really watched about the history of the prison, I had no idea about it being an army fort or the indians trying to reclaim it. Now I know…still I only find the prison part of the whole place fascinating.
Now, I honestly thought this place was going to be super creepy and scary but it’s actually quite beautiful. There are several gardens around the island and lots of birds. The parade deck is now a nesting ground for the Western Gull. I thought it was odd that Alcatraz is supposed to mean “pelican” but I didn’t see a single one, just a ton of gulls. Anyway It’s a beautiful on the outside and the inside is actually bigger and airier than I would have thought. The cells are only 5×9 but at least there was only one to a cell. I can’t imagine what it would have really been like to be stuck in a room that size for several years. It’s hard to picture because as a visitor you can walk in and out as you please. If I was ever to be stuck in there I certainly would have a preferred a top tier cell on the outside, at least then you could have looked out of the window.
The only place I found super creepy, like goosebumps on my skin creepy, was solitary. Not all of the cells had that feeling, just the one on the end. Apparently that cell had absolutely nothing in it so you had to sit and sleep on the floor. There’s also no light in there. It’s a cell with an outside door that cut you off to everything else. I hated being in there. Other than that the prison was pretty tame.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Alcatraz I highly recommend it. Words of advice, buy your tickets well in advance. You are not going to show up day of and think you’ll be heading over. It’s at least a week and a half to two weeks for booking. Go early. Because you can stay as long as you want till the last ferry, if you go earlier there are not as many people there. By the time we left, the island was filling up pretty fast. We were there for about 4 hours and the line for the ferry going back was pretty full. Amazingly the ferry can pack quite a few people on it. Don’t try to be sexy ladies…you’re on a rock in the middle of the bay. Leave your heels at home, while I will never pass on a chance for some comedy, I really don’t think women breaking their necks in heels is the way I want to get it. There are four steep hills you have to go up to get to the prison and I can’t even imaging trying to walk them in heels….but you know some ladies were trying it lol!!
Anyway I hope you enjoy my pictures and if you’ve ever been there maybe leave a comment about what you thought of the place. If you want to see more of my Alcatraz photos I’ll put them up on Instagram @crazypeach
PS I almost forgot! We were lucky enough to be there when A former inmate was there for a book signing. He’s supposed to be one of the last living inmates of Alcatraz. I you are interested in a look at Alcatraz from the inside you can find his book here.