Mr J and I rugged up and put on our hats to join a group of people for an Urban Safari around the city of San Francisco. We drove through the hilly city, stopped at the Palace of Fine Arts for some photos, drove past the wonderfully architectural City Hall, drove past houses that are worth no less than $950,000, enjoyed the view of the city from Twin Peaks and stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge. We weren’t able to see the bridge through the fog for most of the day but had a good time looking through the souvenir shop – we will be venturing back there some other day. Our group stopped for dissatisfying food at lunch but were thankful the safari organised our Alcatraz tickets and dropped us at the gate. Mr J and I boarded our boat to cruise over to Alcatraz Island at 1:45pm. After a 10 minute trip we arrived on the Island ready to explore.
As Mr J and I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about Alcatraz we sat through a documentary about it before we did anything else. 18 minutes later we trekked up to the cell house where we received our audio tours and moved through the entire cell house hearing stories and facts about this high security prison. We went though the cells, the library, the dining hall, the head quarters and the visitation area. Our experience was definitely worth it and if anyone has some time to spare in San Francisco you should definitely cruise over to Alcatraz! Some cool facts we learnt were:
- The last inmates left Alcatraz on March 21, 1963 and the prison officially closed it’s doors a few months later.
- The prison closed because of deteriorating buildings and high operating costs. It is now a National Park Service and will remain so.
- Alcatraz Island was not only resident to the criminals but also to families, children, individuals and staff of the prison who had apartments and houses there. We were shocked to hear that these residents hardly ever locked their doors either!!
- The cell house was never filled to its capactiy. The maximum prisoners were 302 but there were 336 cells available.
- In 29 years, 36 prisoners tried to escape. All but 5 were recaptured or accounted for. 3 that were unaccounted for participated in the same breakout which is now in a movie, called ‘Escape from Alcatraz.’
“You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege.”
Number 5, Alcatraz Prison Rules and Regulations, 1934
Time for dinner. Mr J and I had a wonderful experience a Bubba Gump’s. This restaurant is dedicated to the movie “Forrest Gump” therefore all the walls are covered in quotes, our waiter gave us a quiz on the movie, the names of the dishes resemble the movie in some way and all the decor is recognised from the movie. It was fun and we gained a glass to take home! Tonight we also tried a Strawberry and Nutella Crepe between the two of us. Talk about melting in your mouth, this is exactly what it did!
For those of you at home. We traveled through Woodside today! As proper tourists, we took a photo of the sign just for you which we will show you in less than a week!