Saturday, April 2, 2011

alluring alcatraz

It was such an awesome experience to see Alcatraz in person! I am SO glad that we were able to go, although the weather was very foggy and dreary, it actually kind of made the experience that more interesting. We opted for the night tour because it got such great reviews and had more touring options! It was the best tour and I have to say I think it was probably the most packed tour package.
We only had a park tour guide from the boat up to the door of the main prison. The rest of the tour was narrated by audio sets, they even had voices of some of the prisoners that were there!! The dreary weather made you feel like you were taken back to when the prison was actually in operation, it was kind of awe-inspiring actually!! Below are our inmate tour narrators and what they were in for: (clockwise from top left) Leon "Whitey" Thompson ~ Weapons, John Banner ~ Bank Robbery, James Quillen ~ Kidnapping, Darwin Coon ~ Bank Robbery.

The picture on the left is the normal vent hole in a inmates room. The picture on the right is the vent hole, after one of the inmates in the famous escape, dug out around it to make it bigger so he could fit through. If memory serves me correct I believe he used the end of a spoon!! You can see, also in the picture on the right, the board in the left corner that he used to cover the hole when the guards would walk the hallways...

"The Hole" better known as Isolation/D Block
 was quite interesting. They are similar to the normal cells but just a bed, toilet, and sink. There are no shelves on the wall or a writing shelf. In front of the row of cells is a gap, big enough for you to walk in and turn around, then there is like a very thick concrete wall further out from the cell with a door that closes and makes it completely dark in the cell!! Of course I was walking in to take a look around!! :) Brandon decided he would just stand out in the room and take pictures. ;)

 This picture gives you an idea of what the prison halls look like. I, myself, have never been in a prison besides this one, so it was really neat to be on the outside looking in!! :)

  The Gun Gallery! This gallery is level with the second floor cells but only accessible by ladder. Below (and please excuse my cameras ability to take a good picture, the white dots) you will see that it spans the width of the room!! That's A LOT of guns!! :) There was an escape attempt where several prisoners were able to pry into the gun gallery and take guards hostage (one killed) to get their keys but when they got to the door leading outside...they didn't have the right keys...Failed!!

This is the hallway between cell rows B and C where the men (of which none were ever found) who dug holes out in their cells went to. Once in this hallway they climbed up and out of the prison (in a shorter story).

Our boat that took us from San Fran to the island!!


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