Alcatraz Island National Park

A very special place to visit.  We were just spellbound by our step back in history when we visited this National Park.

Of course we just love a good boat tour, but the journey here was quite short – only 1.25 miles from San Francisco to Alcatraz island.

We were fortunate to arrive on a day when the Hospital (which isn’t even noted on any of the maps) was open for a brief time to the public – so we made a bee-line straight for the Hospital.  Fascinating to see generally how crude the machinery was back in 50s and 60s, probably not just because this was a prison filled with the “most wanted” criminals.

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black and white photograph of a prison hospital ward through the bars

A Hospital Ward for two prisoners – spacious compared to the usual cell.

black and white photograph of old fashioned hospital operating room at Alcatraz

The Operating Room at Alcatraz

black and white photograph of the old X-Ray equipment at Alcatraz

The X-Ray Room – did it help the warders see through walls?

Black and white photograph of old enamel bath in hydro-therapy room Alcatraz

Bath in the Hydro-Therapy Room at Alcatraz

black and white photograph of hip bath in Alcatraz hydro-therapy room

Hip Bath in Hydro-Therapy Room in Alcatraz

A National Park Ranger also gave a talk about “The Birdman of Alcatraz” (Robert Stroud) who was moved into a cell in the hospital wing as the only way to keep him in true solitary confinement in the entire prison.

We then took the included audio tour. This was imaginatively directed by past prison warders and inmates.  Was incredibly well done and you had the opportunity to pause the commentary if you wanted to spend longer at any point.  After about an hour of being guided from one part to another, or to a different episode that occurred, we were led outside to the view of San Francisco.  As I left the building, as a reflex, I took a deep breath of fresh air and enjoyed the warmth of the sun.  this brought home to me what a terrible place this would have been to live in as an inmate or even work as a warder / guard!

This time we did not have long enough to explore beyond the Hospital and the Prison Tour where we could have discovered the wildlife that has taken to “The Rock” as its home.  However, we did look through one Ranger’s spotting scope at a hummingbird on her nest which had eggs visible.

A place I am sure we will return to, perhaps with are time to explore further.

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Gear: Nikon D800, Nikkor 18.0-35.0mm f/3.5-4.5, Lexar Digital Film, Photoshop and NIK  Silver Efex Pro 2 for post processing.

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4 Responses to Alcatraz Island National Park

  1. Jerry & Marlene says:

    Richard & Louise,
    Thanks for the photos, hope everyone and everything is going well. Our granddaughter who lives in Baltimore had a baby girl March 29, she and the baby are doing fine. Spring in NJ, has not fully arrived, today it is in the 30’s, we have had a few days near 70, however it has generally been cold.
    Best wishes,
    Jerry & Marlene

  2. Marj and Klas says:

    Louise and Richard,
    We are so thoroughly enjoying your diary entries, stories, your sense of awe and history, and of course, your beautiful photos, Richard. Just followed the dreadful-but-true Alcatraz series.
    So sorry we missed you in Palm Springs, but we did get to a bit of the Joshua Tree Park, so were glad to have more of it flushed out by you.
    Carry on, you adventurers, and keep up the great posts.
    Love,
    Marj and Klas

    • R & L says:

      Marj & Klas,
      Many thanks for your kind words. It is good to know that folks are enjoying the stories about our travels with Tigger. Sorry we missed you – it would have been fantastic to catch up. Glad you visited Joshua Tree NP. Love Louise & Richard

  3. Pingback: Blog About Visit To Alcatraz Prison Hospital | Richard King's PhotoBlog

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