In my first blog post, I briefly mentioned Alcatraz. Last Sunday, I went on the Alcatraz Night Tour. These night tours offer a more intimate Alcatraz experience and availability is very limited. We actually had to get our tickets in September to be able to go, but it was worth the wait!
Ever since watching the movie The Rock, I became fascinated by Alcatraz. So, when my parents and I visited San Francisco about three years ago, the first thing on my to-do list was visiting the island. I especially looked forward to seeing the caves underneath the island where, apparently, one can race bad guys in ancient mining carts. After asking a park ranger where I could find this attraction, he informed me that a large part of the movie wasn’t actually filmed on Alcatraz, including most of the scenes in the tunnels.
A more realistic portrayal of the prison is shown in the movie Escape from Alcatraz, which tells the story about the only possibly successful escape attempt from Alcatraz. Three inmates managed to escape the prison building and reach the water. Using a raft constructed of rain coats, they headed out into the Bay and paddled to their freedom. Or to their death. To this day, their fate is unknown. Officially, they are still on the FBI’s most wanted list, even though they are all about 90 years old by now. Should they be found, an Alcatraz guide informed me, they would be incarcerated and would have to spend their remaining years in prison. Oh well, at least they won’t have to go back to the rock!
The entire story of the escape is told during the Alcatraz audio tour, but if you’re interested you can also check these YouTube videos: video one and video two. Personally, I think the videos give a reasonably unbiased overview of the facts (in contrast to some other videos on YouTube). What do you think, did they make it?
Below are some pictures we took during our visit last Sunday. My personal highlight of the tour was the prison hospital. While the hospital is normally closed, it is apparently opened for night tours. Needless to say, the atmosphere was very creepy!
That’s it for now. If you haven’t visited Alcatraz yourself and you can’t wait to go there after this post, get your tickets here.
PS. If you want to see a hilarious video about psychics looking for ghosts and other supernatural things in Alcatraz, click here!