Remember in my last San Fran post I said how desperate we were for Alcatraz tickets? Well we wanted it so badly we endured a 4am, I repeat a 4am wake up call. We were tipped off by a street stall ticket seller that the official Alcatraz ticket office keeps back up to 150 tickets each day and releases them for sale at 7am. The catch is you need to arrive around 5am to even be in with a shot. Lots of people were unlucky they arrived too late and left empty handed and a face full of disappointment.
Let me start with saying, it was so bloody worth it. At the minute I’m awake at crazy hours anyway so no problems there. Plus we got to eat a tasty breakfast with a much needed warm cup of coffee before our ferry set off at 8.45. Luckily we shared plate of giant blueberry pancakes between us because we would not have managed a portion to ourselves! (Too hungry to photograph first #badblogger).
All aboard and onto Alcatraz prison. You know how some places just have a real atmosphere? You can just sense the history in every brick, window and pathway. Alcatraz is like no other. You can only imagine how these prisoners felt knowing they would not step off the island for many years, if ever.
The tour is an audio guide and gives you directions of where to good. The style is very unique as you hear tales and memoirs from interview archives with past prisoners. You are given a sense of what it was like to eat, sleep and even attempt to escape the notorious prison. Some of the attempts were pretty imaginative to say the least.
Significant areas are pointed out to you and images and quotes surround you, all adding to the atmosphere. Convicted of fraud over 50 years William had attempted to escape from three previous prisons, resulting in his banishment to Alcatraz. I’m always intrigued by true accounts and this is no different so I bought a copy of his book, which he indeed signed for me. Is it just me that finds this concept a little strange?
(Forgive me for the 4am bed head and attire).
Following on from Alcatraz we took a trip to Haight Ashbury which in all its quirky glory, just wasn’t for me. I like to see all sides of a city and this was a place again that was brimming with history and I’m glad I went. But it wasn’t what I expected, perhaps we didn’t venture to the right area but there was much less art than I had been told there was and I didn’t get great “vibes”. There is definitely some hippie-esque love still flourishing though!
As I write this I’m in LA so keep an eye out for some photo’s of my days here.
Have you ever been to the places I mentioned? Are you travelling anywhere soon?