Sunday, July 29, 2007


Alcatraz was named by a Spanish Explorer, it means "Island of the Pelicans". I'm sure you know this place, it has a pop-culture name - The Rock, ring a bell ? It's a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay, you can take a boat that leaves from Pier 33, near the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Alcatraz used to serve the region with a lighthouse, later it became a military fortification, then a military prison followed by a federal prison until 1963. When it became a national recreation area in 1986, it was listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Since it is isolated in the middle of the bay, surrounded by freezing waters and strong sea currents, it has the ideal criteria that made it the best choice for holding captives by the U.S. Army.

The prison population at Alcatraz was made up of inmates who had histories of unmanageable behavior or escape attempts, and high-profile inmates who had been receiving special privileges because of their public status.

They served very simple food here :

The photos of infamous inmates.

Have you watched "Prison Break" ? If you did, this would look familiar to you ;o)

Most escapees never made it to land, and usually turned back to be rescued from the freezing waters. Those who failed to turn back died because of the cold water.

The main corridor of the cell house was named "Broadway" by the inmates, and the cells along this passageway were considered the least desirable in the prison.

We spent around half day for this trip, then we were back to the Fishermen's Wharf for a hot clam chowder soup :)


jamy said...


Did you see the movies about Alcatraz . It is about a real story on a inmate escape from Al... I think it is the same actor who acted on God Father.

It is so windy there :). I was there on summer of 1990, yet, it's old !

BeeLee said...

Hi Jamy :
Yes that movie is called "The Rock", starring Sean Connery & Nicolas Cage, the inmate (the only one escaped from The Rock) was needed by FBI to lead them to the island via the catacombs underneath it to neutralize the hostage situation :)

BlurMommy said...

I've been to SF a few times but have never visited Alcatraz. Must do that next time. Thanks for sharing the pics!:)

kayatan said...


I must be losing my memory. U are right, it is the rock.

I read this movie a lot. I remember when I was in Alcatraz, I bought the phone that you can hear the narrative of the escape. Did you do that ? It's quite real.

I love SF, it is one of the romantic city in the world. One of hubby cousins live on Lombard Street (the world most crooked street. When I visited SF, it was summer. The flowers along Lombard streets were simply magnificient.

kuanhoong said...

I might be going to SF this Oct. If I have the time, I will go to Alcatraz too.

BeeLee said...

Hello blurmommy :
Great to see you here :) Do share your photos with us when you have visited the place :)

Hi Jamy :
I didn't buy the phone :)
Yes, the Lombard Street looks excellent with flowers :) I had some photos of it but they were not perfect, will share it when I get a chance :)

Hello KuanHoong :
It's a nice place to visit, you could also visit the Golden Gate Park, The Japanese Tea Garden, The Fisherman's Wharf (must try the Clam Chowder Soap there), China Town, Twin Peak, Lombard Street etc, and don't forget to hop on a cable car :)

Emila Yusof said...

Wow Bee Lee! Great infos and pictures!

Jo said...

simple food yet healthy woh..

BeeLee said...

Hi Jo :
Do you also like clam chowder soup ?

Shantanu said...

For some reason, I have never visited Alcatraz in spite of having been to SFO many times. I had especially been interested in it, since I saw The Rock, where much of the action happens at Alcatraz.

BeeLee said...

Thanks Emila :)

Hi Jo :
Do you also like clam chowder soup ?

Hello Shantanu :
It seems like you are going to US very often, so there'll be time where you can make it to Alcatraz :)