Alcatraz, great experience
Trip Start May 13, 2010
273Trip End May 12, 2011
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up and out at 10:30, and we decided we were going to ride a cable car. so we walked round the corner and got on the end of a queue to ride from Powell and Market to Fisherman's wharf. well the queue looked long but there were a few cars lined up so I thought possibly 30 or 45 mins. What I didn't know was they didn't fill each car so they could pick up other people along the route, so the queue moved more slowly. It was 11:45 by the time we got on a car, but we got best seats in the open on the side. this route has a few hills and the ride was quite exciting, particularly when a cab had parked in the road partially blocking the cable car, and he refused to move until he had picked up his fare, there was a colourful (colorful) exchange of language before we were on our way again racing down the next hill. The brake man (driver) was quite a character and kept all the riders in line telling them to sit when they stood up to take pictures.
We were so glad that we had booked this trip in advance so we got to see the prison, even though there were plenty of people there the place is big enough that it didn't seem overcrowded, and you could walk round totally engrossed in the descriptions and the sounds of the prison back in the days when it's inmates were the most dangerous and notorious criminals in America. They even had an ex-inmate there signing stuff, he didn't look very happy though, perhaps the place brought back too many bad memories, or perhaps he was just acting grumpy. His name was Darwin Coon, and he was a bank robber who did 4 years in Alcatraz, he was moved there because he had tried to escape from other jails. The film Escape from Alcatraz was based on the most daring escape attempt from the prison, they say that the men died in the waters of the bay, but they never found bodies so they are not certain , they may have escaped, but they don't want to admit that some have escaped. All I know is there is no way i would want to be in that water with the strong currents and the cold of the water.
So a good day being a real tourist and queuing with some special people....and I sort of hoped that those men did escape and spent the rest of their days knowing that it was possible to escape from the rock, while they sat and drank tequila somewhere in Mexico.