September 03, 2013

Alcatraz

September 3, 2013 Photo of the day: "The Rock"

Crossing San Francisco Bay approaching Alcatraz,
you immediately sense its foreboding presence.

 
A sign warns prisoners of the futility of escape.

Alcatraz was once a military prison...

A maximum security federal penitentiary...

..and the site of Native American activism.

The tour narrated by former inmates & guards
is a graphic representation of life on The Rock....

in a 5' wide x 9' long x 7' high cell.

The tour is also a step back in time...

to the 1940s, '50s, and '60s...

until 1963 when the prison permanently closed.

Some of the buildings have fallen into ruins.

While others, like the lighthouse, are still functioning.

Alcatraz is now a National Park.
The views from the island are actually quite stunning.

It must have been tortuous for prisoners
to see and hear freedom so close and yet so far...

Although Alcatraz is a fascinating place,
it is a relief to return to civilization on shore!