A trip to San Francisco would not be complete without a visit to Alcatraz.
I must admit that Sam was more excited about this excursion than I was at first.
Why would anyone want to cross the choppy bay waters on a chilly, gray morning
to walk around an abandoned federal penitentiary?
After a marvelous hour-long talk covering the past 200 year history of this famous spot in San Francisco Bay, I was completely captivated and eager to explore and learn more.
This guardhouse is where you begin your tour and learn about how this strategic location was the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast.
The National Park Service does a fabulous job in preparing its staff to spin fascinating tales about the events and people associated with this historic location. Here is our wonderful guide sharing stories about Al Capone and the prisoners, guards and families that lived here. He is standing in front of the school house where the children of the prison staff received their education.
There is so much to see and learn about here! You can take a tour of the Alcatraz Gardens or learn about the unique birds that make this spot their home. The name Alcatraz itself came from a European explorer who named one of the islands in the bay "Island of the Seabirds" for the multitudes of avian life he observed.
With the price of admission, you receive audio recordings to tour the inside of the prison at your own pace. Here I am at the entrance to the prison library. Sam is getting a feel for a prison cell.
The fog eventually lifted to give us a clear view of the San Francisco skyline from Alcatraz.
The first and very important Alcatraz lighthouse on the West Coast.
Thankfully, the National Park Service has worked to preserve this historic island. Though the buildings are in ruins, they have archaeological significance and contain many historical artifacts.
Did he just propose with "a rock at The Rock?" Peering through my camera near the Prison Administration Building, I spotted this young couple on a park bench. To my surprise, the young man pulled out a small box and when his sweetheart looked inside, this was her joyful reaction!
A surprising way to end our visit to this unique spot!
But our last day in San Francisco was far from over! See the next post...