Up feeking a little Zoobiefied after cocktails last night but a few cups of coffee and feeling fine.
Going to do the trams today - iconic , cool and a must if you are in San Fran.Heading for Union square shopping this morning, Lombard street to see the worlds crookedest street, Fishermans Wharf ready to take the spookie night tour to Alcatraz , which we had to book 3 months in advance to ensure we got on it.
The night tour was a spookie experience. Less people and eerie as it got dark.Great views of the bridges and San Fran by night. The rock must have been a god forsaken place to live. Locked away in tiny cells for 16 hours plus a day with little to do. The building falling into disrepair will have been damp, dark , cold and miserable. The prisons were given warm showers, so if they did try to excape the cold of the watres would be too much. The whole emphasis was on punishment, not rehab. On new yesr, in the pitch black, if the wind was blowing the right way, then the prisoners could here the party goers in san fran- wonder if it made them happy or sad? No wonder in the escape attemps the prisoners would not care if they killed guards or not- they were never getting out, so what did it matter to them. In one bloody attempt, guards were overthrown and put in a cell , then shot. The place was raided by the army who climbed on the roof and dropped grenages into the prison- the marks on the walls could still be seen. We finished the tour with a " slamming" demo. The warden showed us how all the doors where controlled using levers and slamming hsut- up to 21 times a day- how they must have hated that sound. The doors had to slide rather than open , as they had been used as weapons if they opened. We ent into " the hole" -solitary confinment-pitch black- even left in only a few moments left you feeling disorientated - it must have snt you mad being in there for long. That or syphilis if you were Al Capone! How anyone ever got away-no-one knows- with machine gun patrols watching at the end of the cells, 3 guards to evry cell mate, and the treatourous waters of the bay, you can see why people thought it impossible. Some guards even lived on the island!
On return the views were amazing. We decided to look for a restaurant, which was miles away, we couldnt get in, so got a taxi back to Fishermans wharf, went to Applebees , followed by a taxi home off a weed fuelled taxi man , who gave us an extened " make some more fare" route home, passing a cordoned off street where he told us a shooting had occured!