United States
Alcatraz

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78 travelers at this place:

  • Day52

    Alcatraz Island

    August 13, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    🇺🇸
    Today we visited the famous prison island Alcatraz. The prison was a high security prison for all kind of criminals until the 70s. It also served as a military base and military prison for a while. The National Park, of which the prison is part, offers audio tours trough the cellblock, telling us everything there is to know about prison life, escape attempts and some special prisoners during the time the island served as a prison. It was super interesting! They even had former prisoners and Guards share their stories with us! Just awesome, but super creepy/weird (better say sad and cruel) at the same time. They even added sound of the island/prison to the audio tour.
    After visiting Alcatraz we biked to the Golden Gate Park (a really long bike tour to the other side of SF 🚴🏼).
    After that we were only able to get a pizza in Little Italy. Dead tired finally at the hostel we spontaneously went out with a bunch of nice girl we met. We went to a karaoke bar 😍.

    🇩🇪
    Heute haben wir endlich die berühmte Gefängnisinsel Alcatraz besucht. Das Gefängnis war bis in die 70er Jahre ein Hochsicherheitsgefängnis für alle Arten von Kriminellen, ausserdem diente es auch als Militärbasis und -gefängnis für eine Weile. Der Nationalpark, zu dem das Gefängnis jetzt gehört, bietet inklusive Audioführungen durch den Zellenblock an. Dabei wurde uns alles über das Leben im Gefängnis, verschiedene Fluchtversuche und einige besondere Gefangene während der Zeit, in der die Insel als Gefängnis diente, berichtet. Es war super interessant! Sie hatten sogar ehemalige Gefangene und Wachen, die ihre Geschichten erzählten und so aus erster Hand mit uns teilten! Einfach großartig, aber auf der anderen Seite super gruselig / seltsam (besser gesagt traurig und grausam). Sie fügten sogar den Klang der Insel/Gefängnis der Audioführung hinzu.
    Nach dem Besuch auf Alcatraz machten wir uns noch auf in den Golden Gate Park (eine ziemlich lange Radtour einmal durch SF 🚴🏼‍♀️.
    Danach waren wir nur noch für eine Pizza in Little Italy zu haben. Tot müde im Hostel haben wir uns noch zu einer Runde ausgehen aufgerafft und sind mit einer Truppe netter Mädels in eine karaoke bar 😍.
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  • Day9

    Day 9 San Francisco, Alcatraz

    January 25 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We had tickets booked for the 9am boat to Alcatraz so we were up early and breakfasted in the hotel. We walked down to Pier 33 and joined a massive queue of people who were also waiting for the first boat to Alcatraz. Lucky it’s not school holidays here so it’s apparently not busy! It was pretty cold on the boat and also foggy so although we could see Alcatraz we could barely make out the Golden Gate Bridge which isn’t too far away.

    Alcatraz is a small island in the San Francisco Harbour which has at various times been used as a fort and a prison in the past. The tour was quite fascinating. We first had a talk from the ranger as it is now part of the SF National Park. Then we watched a short film about Alcatraz and then walked up to the prison block where we received headphones to listen to as we walked through the different sections. The cells are tiny with a bed, shelf and toilet, barely leaving room to stand. The showers are open and they only had two per week. There was a dining room and a prison library and the prisoners averaged reading about 100 books per year. There was 1 guard to every three prisoners. A lot of the guards had families who also lived on Alcatraz and the children caught a boat across to the mainland for school every day. The gardens were and still are very well kept.

    We listened to a talk about a notorious escape attempt in 1962 where four prisoners chiselled out of their cells and made a raft out of raincoats. There is some dispute about whether they made it to the mainland or drowned in the attempt.

    We left Alcatraz around midday and had some lunch and then went on the cable car. It was interesting but apparently not the best one to go on (there are two). Then we went on the hop on hop off bus to see sites around SF, the best being crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. We were sitting on top of the bus and it was absolutely freezing. It was also quite foggy so we didn’t get a great view but still fantastic.

    Tonight we met John Pople for dinner at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant. It was lovely to catch up with John. He lives about 120km from where we are. Dinner was delicious- clam chowder, shrimp Alfredo and a huge chocolate sundae to share.

    Tomorrow we are up early to head to Yosemite.
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  • Day28

    Alcatraz

    November 29, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Ein paar Tage zuvor habe ich Maria aus Dänemark kennengelernt und nach ein paar netten Gespräche haben wir entschieden am 29.11 zusammen nach Alcatraz zu fahren. Als wir nun am Morgen zuvor besprachen wie wir dorthin kommen wollten, sprach uns ein Junge, Fabian aus Frankreich an, dass er unser Gespräch gehört hätte und er würde zur gleichen Zeit auch nach Alcatraz fahren. Also haben wir uns zusammen getan. Da wir uns, wie bei mir schon die Wochen vorher, die Kosten für den Bus sparen wollten sind wir morgens um 7:45 los Richtung Pier 33 gelaufen. Da die Alcatraz Touren immer total überfüllt sind haben wir uns dazu entschieden, das "early bird" ticket um 8.45 zu nehmen. Viel zu früh für mich aber dafür war es angenehm leer. Auf Alcatraz angekommen haben wir eine Audio-tour gemacht, welche wirklich äußerst gut war, da ehemalige Gefangene und Wärter von ihren Erfahrungen und Erlebnissen berichtet haben. Ich war zuerst hin und her gerissen, ob ich nach Alcatraz fahren sollte oder nicht und ob sich das lohnen würde aber im nachhinein kann ich sagen, dass es sich vollkommen gelohnt hat. Die Audio-tour war einfach super und auch Alcatraz an sich war unglaublich interessant. Anschließend haben wir drei uns die Seerobben angeguckt und dann haben sich unsere Wege getrennt. Maria wollte noch unbedingt auf einer Fähre zur Golden Gate Bridge und ich wollte noch zum Ferry Building und seinem Foodmarket. Da Fabian nichts anderes vor hatte hat er sich mir angeschlossen und wir sind zusammen an den Pieren entlang geschlendert. Das Ferry Building war an sich recht schön, aber leider war der "foodmarket" kein wirklicher Markt. Es war nur eine große Halle mit einigen Ständen, die Essen verkauft haben. Daher war ich etwas enttäuscht, da ich davon ausgegangen war, dass es soetwas wie unser Wochenmarkt ist. Danach sind wir nur noch ein bisschen rum geschlendert, haben in der Sonne gesessen und sind dann später wieder zurück zum Hostel.Read more

  • Day2

    2. Tag - Erster richtiger Tag

    October 13, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Nach einem für uns sehr mageren, aber für amerikanische Verhältnisse klassischen, Frühstück mit Toast und Marmelade fing der Tag heute früh an. Bereits um 07.30 Uhr, wo die Stadt schon unter einer Marihuana-Dunstwolke liegt, machten wir uns auf den Weg zu den Painted Ladies. Damit wir heute flexibler sind, haben wir uns ein Tagesticket für die öffentliche Verkehrsmittel geholt.
    Als wir unser kurzes Fotoshooting mit den Painted Ladies beendet hatten, sollte der nächste Stop die Twin Peaks sein. Kurzentschlossen stellten wir fest, dass uns der Ausblick vom Corona Heights Park reicht.
    Bereits in der kurzen Zeit haben wir sehr nette Bekanntschaften gemacht und überall hilfsbereite Menschen getroffen.
    Hiernach stiegen wir in eine alte Bahn ein, die uns bis zum Pier 1 brachte, wo wir einen Street-Food-Markt besuchten und die ersten Burger zu uns nahmen.
    Von dort aus ging es dann hoch hinaus. Wir bahnten uns den Weg durch die Stadt, durch Stadtteile wie Little Italy, bis zur Lombard Street, der kurvenreichste Straße der Welt. Oben angekommen mussten wir kurz verschnaufen, aber lange Zeit blieb uns nicht.
    Als das Cable Car vorbeifuhr, hieß es für uns nur noch "schnell aufspringen".
    Unsere kurze Fahrt mit dem berühmten Cable Car führte uns zum Fishermans Wharf, wo wir bereits einen kurzen Blick auf die im nebel liegende Golden Gate Bridge erhaschen konnten.
    Nach einer weiteren Busfahrt zum Coit Tower, schlenderten wir noch über den Platz des Pier 39. Hier haben wir den kalifornischen Seelöwen beim Sonnen zugesehen und waren im ersten Hard Rock Cafes des Urlaubs.
    Den Abschluss des Tages haben wir mit unserem Tages-Highlight geschmückt. Ein Besuch auf Alcatraz darf in San Francisco nicht fehlen.
    Nach einem eindrucksreichen Tag fahren wir zufrieden ins Hotel zurück und versuchen bei einer Mütze Schlaf dies zu verarbeiten.
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  • Day2

    San Francisco Tag 1

    May 21, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    Nach 11 Stunden Flug und gefühlten 5 Stunden Passkontrolle haben wir es endlich in unser Hotel geschafft.
    Sehr schön und zentral gelegen, nur leider im sozialen Brennpunkt von San Francisco.
    Nach der ersten Nacht und einer ordentlichen Mütze Schlaf, sah das ganze aber wesentlich entspannter aus als noch am Vortag.

    Heute Morgen ging es dann als erstes nach Alcatraz, das wohl bekannteste ehemalige Gefängnis der Welt.
    Sehr beeindruckend und definitiv zu empfehlen, nach der Tour hatten wir noch die Möglichkeit einen der letzten noch lebenden Ex-Häftlinge persönlich zu treffen.

    Zurück auf dem Festland ging es für einen kleinen Mittagssnack ins Hard Rock Cafe am Pier 39 mit anschließender Sightseeingtour auf selbigem und Zwischenstopp am Fisherman’s Wharf.
    Trotz Regenschauer konnten wir den Großteil des ersten Tages zu Fuß bewältigen und für die längeren Strecken kamen ganz klassisch die weltberühmten Cable Cars zum Einsatz.
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  • Day5

    Road to Alcatraz

    October 6, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    In 2012 when we first visited San Fransisco we were unable to get tickets for Alcatraz cause it was fully booked.
    This time around we made sure we book tickets in advance, however what we did not do, is plan our commute from San Jose to Pier 33 in San Fransisco (where the Alcatraz ferry leaves from) in advance .

    Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but this morning it didn't.
    First we used google maps to estimate what time to leave the house which did not give us a good estimate, then we used uber to order a taxi which was supposed to be 4 min but took 8 min to get to us.
    Then when we got to the train station there were very limited signs that indicated which trains go where and what time they leave as all of this info is now on an "App". After downloading the App and getting help from a random Afrikaans speaking fellow South African who lives in San Jose we realized there was no way we will make it in time for the ferry. Isabel then tried calling Alcatraz to find-out if they will allow us on the next ferry, but was unable to get to a person to speak to, only a computer who could only confirm that there was still space on the next ferry Oct 6th 2017. LOL

    The only other option was to try a taxi which will potentially get us there in time depending on traffic. We already purchased one way tickets at this point, Isabel amazingly walked up to people who were waiting in the queue to buy train tickets and sold our one way tickets for a 25 cent profit. 😜

    We eventually arrived 10 minutes late for the ferry with an uber taxi, but were lucky enough to get onto the next one.

    {Roedolf}
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  • Day5

    @Alcatraz

    October 6, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    A San Fran must do!! Usually history (especially American history) bore us a fair bit, but Alcatraz was truly made live, the entire tour was interactive & made it a really fun experience. We also had magnificent views of the bay and the airshow that is currently held.

    Some cool facts about Alcatraz
    1.Al Capone played banjo in the inmate band.
    2.There were no confirmed prisoner escapes from Alcatraz
    3. Alcatraz is named for sea birds.
    Before criminals became its denizens, the windswept island was home to large colonies of brown pelicans. Alcatraz is the Spanish for Island of the Pelicans
    4. In spite of his nickname, the “Birdman of Alcatraz” had no birds in the prison.
    5. After the prison stood dormant for six years, Native American activists occupied Alcatraz.
    6. It was the first named lighthouse in the Pacific
    7.Military prisoners were Alcatraz’s first inmates.

    {Issy}
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  • Day87

    San Fransisco

    May 16, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We arrived into San Fransisco just after lunch, driving across Bay bridge we could see golden gate in the distance and the city an ecclectic mix of 20th century buildings and sky scrappers. The air stank of weed having just been legalised in November, and more than a few eccentric homless wandered the streets.

    First thing first was to grab a new phone for James and I bought a pair of jeans to fit in with the locals. As it fell dark we explored china town to find its streets empty apart from the lanterns criss crossing the streets. Stopping to eat at a tripadvisor find we had yummy burgers.

    Next day we hopped onto a cable car (a tram) at its table turn in Powell Street. Vintage looking with staff with colourfull and loud personalities we had fun running up and down the steep San Fransiscan hills down to Fisherman's warf.

    Exploring the wharf area we had a quick look at pier 39 (very touristy) before Brunch in a cafe James loved from a previous visit! Eating quickly we then made our way to pier 33 for a cruise to Alcatraz. A grey misty day the island looked forbidding in the bay.

    Our first place to visit wad the industries building which had a photo exihbition about the last day of the prison. Outside stood a park ranger who gave a hilarious talk about the known escape attempts from the prison. Up the hill a audio tour took you around the prison buildings, past the isolation block, through the "gen pop" blocks to the officer rooms.

    By some miracle we were let off the island and continued to explore the cheap eats around the hostel, this time a slice of pizza which when it came was as big as my head. Supersize US!
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  • Day35

    Angel Island/ Arcatraz

    July 20, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Today we went on a ferry to go to Angel Island and Alcatraz. Angel island was an immigration center and Alcatraz was a prison that closed down in 1969. First we stopped in Angel Island. We had 2 hours on Angel Island and for the first hour, because there was not enough space on the tram, we ate lunch. I had a turkey corn dog, it was yummy. Then we went to the mini museum. I learned that the 3 escapees from Arcatraz used a boat and apparently landed here. Then, for the second hour, we got on the tram. It was very chilly outside, around 14 c, the wind was strong and I was sooo cold! We didn't see any animals on the tour, but we had a beautiful view. Then, the 2 hours were done. We got on the same ferry and we drank hot chocolate because my teeth were chattering!!! When we reached Alcatraz, there was a scary photo of a prisoner. It said William G. Baker. "Meet him in the book store". Because Alcatraz closed down in 1969, I thought they were joking and it was fake. But Wendy, a lady who works there said that William (Bill) was a prisoner here in Arcatraz and you could meet him. I got super terrified and didn't want to go upstairs to meet him, but realised he has to be a good man or else he wouldn't be an author and be with us. Then, we went on a 45 minute walking tour and I learned that 14 people tried to escape but only 3 people did escape. Then, we got to see inside the cells, the shower, kitchen, and lots more with an audio tour. We got to see the actual dummy heads that was used for the escape. It was creepy and I couldn't believe that the officers thought the dummy heads were real heads. I saw the author and realised he was 80 when he wrote that book. Alcatraz was a scary prison. Then on the way back, I got a cute unicorn novelty hat!!! I love it❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Read more

  • Day20

    Alcatraz and last minute sight seeing

    April 18, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We toured to Alcatraz this morning and it didn't disappoint ! Really interesting tour. We explored the island from all view points !

    The history is really interesting and the audio jail tour was really informative. Something I'm glad we did! The panoramic view back towards San Francisco from the island were amazing and we've had awesome weather today !!!

    Went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and our shared entree could have been our main .... think we will roll out of San Francisco.... meal was delicious though, we even spoilt ourselves with a beer and cocktail. Chads steak was half the plate and a good 1.5cm thick !

    We then Caught a cab with I feel may have been a psycho cab driver who didn't like asians on bikes too much ... up to Lombard Street. A peculiar street dubbed one of the crookedest in the world..... we watched the cars travelling through and maybe of more entertainment was the number of tourists that nearly got run over trying to take photos mid street :) there were even monks photographing the quaint tourist spot.

    Fortunately as we were now uphill we strolled back to down town for Chads ice cream of the day :) this time we went to Ben and Jerry's!!! Did I mention we are rolling out of San Francisco?

    That reminds me speaking of watching tourists get run over by a car .... ask Chad about how he nearly got me killed last night whilst trying to point out the array of strip clubs near little Italy ....

    Down at fisherman wharf there are so many things besides the touristy attractions to look at..... the array of different personalities, nationalities and lifestyles all coming together. The homeless looking for money and openly saying it was to buy their weed..... (you can smell that stuff everywhere here) ...... street entertainers from singers, break dancers, musicians, clowns to not white sure what ....

    Chad got pulled over by someone today and told he was receiving an official warning for smiling too much and being too affectionate with his wife ..... we thought the guy was serious at first .... until he introduced himself formally and he was raising money for the soup kitchen of which we had seen in action in our stay.....

    Last of the day my friend google had showed me some mosaic stairs put together by a community of 200 neighbours ..... google looked impressively so we thought we would check it out before calling a day on San Fran......
    well the taxi driver had never been asked to go there in the ten years he had been driving ..... and so a $60 cab fare and a few wrong turn laters we found them and they were beautiful.......not to mention the rewarding view we had of the back end of San Francisco over looking the Pacific Ocean.

    So all in all San Francisco was Spectacular ! My new favourite word!!!! I hope to be back here again one day !!
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Alcatraz

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