My brother’s favourite movie for a couple of years was “The Rock” so I kind of had to see something about Alcatraz several times during a few years.
Then, a few months before my trip to the US I saw a documentary about the only successful escape from the prison.
After all of this, it was impossible to go to San Francisco and don’t set foot on that little island, well even without this background, I believe that Alcatraz is one of the mandatory sightseeing places if you go to San Francisco.
It’s worth it. There’s enough information to be able to understand the story of the prison, how the guards and their families used to live in the island, why was it impossible to run away, and then how did the inmates use to live there, they have an itinerary that starts on the showers …. A huge room with no privacy, to the tiny cells, some of them with information about what they would normally have there, and the guard’s room with all the details and maps of the prison.
The best feature is a guide that you can listen to during your walk, at your own time, and with so many languages that I was able to pick one in Portuguese.
After all this, when I was totally immersed in the history of the prison and some of its past inmates, it ended up being the day of the Blue Angels and I was inside the prison and with no warning a plane came real near the island, with enough noise to make run to just outside the building to try to understand what was happening. Let me tell you, I spent almost an hour looking into the sky.
The Blue Angels are just amazing.
Oh, and let’s not forget the boat trip from San Francisco into the Rock, it’s just another way to look into one of my favourite cities, that for me is ultimately a twin city of my lady Lisboa.