Going back to Alcatraz.
Once again reminiscing back to January, Maritza, Ramon and I made it to Alcatraz on a chilly, sleepy Wednesday in San Francisco. The gray clouds hung overhead spewing light rang as we celebrated that there was no fog blocking our view of the city. We pulled up to the dock and saw the towering, concrete castle in front of us. Welcoming, isn’t it?
There were watch towers throughout the island — an ominous sign.
There were plenty of opportunities to snap pictures in the pathways between the buildings. Knowing that Ramon was leaving the next day made us want to stop and capture every moment.
This was one of my favorite audio tours mainly because of the vibrant, colorful interviews. As you walk through the prison, you hear the voices of actual guards and prisoners who describe what it was like to be so close to the hustle and bustle of San Francisco but never get to take part.
But even in prison, people like to decorate. We saw paintings, pottery, checkers, book collections and several different instruments.
The cell blocks really are intimidating. As you walk down the main row snuggled in your coat and scarf, the tape details the nerves of walking into the prison for the first time.
When we were not nerding out on history, we took in the beautiful views of the city. One of the most haunting images was on New Years Eve the prisoners would lie awake to hear the voices of people as they floated on yachts in the Bay.
And we posed for a couple of pictures, winter coats and all.
Aside from the views, my other favorite part was the many beautiful gardens. Up until the mid-1960s, prisoners tended the gardens, and then the plants went wild for years before volunteers started grooming them back into shape.
We also were able to see the outside of the guard homes that are falling apart.
Maritza, Ramon and I had a little photo shoot at the end.
And finally, a trip to Alcatraz is not complete without a tourist picture in front of a green screen.