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Today I toured Alcatraz Island for the first time. It has been home to Native Americans, a Civil War fort, a military prison, a federal prison, Native Americans again, and finally, to a major tourist attraction.
Arriving in San Francisco, commonly known in my area as “The City”, we quickly found parking and rushed onto the tour boat where we hoped to have a quick bite to eat. There are only two places on Alcatraz that allow food, and they only sell nuts, granola bars, chocolate, and bottled water on the island.
Unfortunately, the WiFi was out on the boat, so the credit card machine would not operate at the snack bar. The counter person kindly took pity on us and gave us a couple of complimentary diet Coke’s to tide us over until mealtime, and we bought nuts and granola bars on the island.
We began with a short film that recounted the history of the island in brief, continued with an audio tour of the prison building itself, and concluded our visit with a 30 minute guided tour of part of the grounds.
The film was good but I was distracted with munching my snacks quickly; the audio tour was well produced, but was very circuitous and overlong to me; and the guided tour was my favorite as a veteran Alcatraz tour guide took us to different locations and gave us a lot of insight into what being at Alcatraz must have been like for the inmates and the staff.
I enjoyed a lot of photo opportunities, and walking around the island taking pictures was what was most diverting and enjoyable to me. It was a good day, rounded out by a seafood dinner back in the city, and we drove home early to enjoy a bit of the evening at home before a weekend of working days.
Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ for providing my wife and I the resource, a sunny day, and a good destination to explore and learn about. I hope you enjoy this destination, should you decide to check it out.