Welcome to The Rock

As I type this, I am sitting at a pavement café in the sunshine, sipping a pinot grigio and watching the world go by.  It’s a bit different from last night’s activity, when we took a trip across to Alcatraz Island.

We started the day on our feet and thankfully (miraculously) found some flat streets to explore.  Our search for breakfast got a little sidetracked and we ended up eating about three hours after setting out.  This is no doubt a testament to the multitude of things to do and see in this city.  Our aimless pootling took up most of the afternoon and I couldn’t really tell you what we actually did, but it was a lovely day.  The main event, however, was still to come.

Alcatraz has a long and varied history but it’s most famous for being a notorious prison.  We had a fascinating tour and many and varied talks about the island and its inmates.  At the end, as darkness fell, we were treated to “the sound of the slammer” as all the jail doors were automatically closed at once. We were asked to think about how that sound made us feel, and a lot of the other visitors expressed some horror and discomfort, but I was fine.  Clearly my conscience is a lot clearer than other people’s! The place did take on a much more sinister air when we were allowed to venture upstairs to the hospital area that’s normally out of bounds, and also when we found ourselves traipsing back downhill in the dark. Put it this way, I don’t think they have to worry about people missing the ferry home!

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