Wish You Were Here Postcards – Alcatraz, San Francisco

by Amanda McInerney on 18/12/2013


Sitting in San Francisco Bay, 1 1/2 miles offshore, Alcatraz was once home to one of the US’ most infamous prisons. Often just referred to as “the rock” the small, uninhabited island was first a lighthouse and then a military fortification before being adapted for the purpose which made it famous.

In 1933 Alcatraz was acquired by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for the express purpose of housing the most intransigent of inmates in the whole prison system. Many who ended up here were violent bank robbers or murderers, including Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz. It is claimed that no-one ever successfully escaped from here, although 36 tried. Of those, only five were ultimately unaccounted for and were presumed drowned in the swift currents and shark-infested waters which surround the island. Alcatraz is now a museum and has one of the very best audio tours, narrated by ex-inmates and guards, that I’ve ever used. It is a cold, forbidding place and this view looking back as we were leaving is one many didn’t get.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel @ The cook's notebook December 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Have you done the self-guided tour of Alcatraz? I’ve done it twice now (almost 20 years apart!) and it’s fantastic. One of the best tourist things I’ve ever done.

Kate December 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm

My favourite restaurant is in San Fran, I love it there so much !

Jamie December 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

That is some stunning photo. And a place I would really love to visit; truly fascinating!

Hotly Spiced December 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I’ve heard it’s a terrifying place however I’ve always wanted to visit. Your image of it really let’s you know how isolated a location it is xx

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I’ve seen it heaps as my brother works as a rescue boat captain in the bay but I’ve never actually stepped on the rock. I want to one day.

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