My brother’s favorite 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 this prison.

Alcatraz, Photo by the author

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, 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.

Alcatraz, Photo by the author
  • How the guards and their families used to live on the island.
  • Why was it impossible to run away. – There was an escape in 1962 that we still don’t know if it was sucessfull or not.
  • How did the inmates used to live there
Alcatraz, Photo by the author

They have an itinerary that starts on the showers …. A huge room with no privacy. And ends in the tiny cells. Some of them with information about what they would normally have there. And finally, the guard’s room with all the details and maps of the prison.

When walking trough the cells, we got information about some of the most notoriuous inmates like the most famous Al Capone.

The best feature is a guide that you can listen to during your walk, at your own time. It has so many languages that I was able to pick one in Portuguese.

Alcatraz, Photo by the author

So you can imagine how immerse was I in this tour. Being a history junkie, it meant that I was going at the guide speed, and listening and reading everything.


Here I was, on the cells block, reading about some of the horrible people that were incarcerated there. completely immersed in their story, when with no warning a plane came past so near the island that everything trembled.The noise was so loud that no one was able to understand what was happening. It seemed those airplane attacks that we see in the movies. I had to run to the outside of that prison block to see what was happening.

Blue Angels in San Francisco, Photo by the author
Blue Angels in San Francisco, Photo by the author

It ended up being the day of the Blue Angels show.
Blue Angels in San Francisco, Photo by the author

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 favorite cities, which for me is ultimately a twin city of my lady Lisboa.

Blue Angels in San Francisco, Photo by the author

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