July 21, 2014

San Francisco – Cable Car, Lombard Street & Alcatraz

I had the good fortune to be able to travel to San Francisco for work recently and managed to do some sightseeing after my conference was over.

First thing to do was to catch the cable car from the turnaround at Market and Powell Streets.

The ride started with a steep climb up Nob Hill for an amazing view of the bay.

I alighted near Lombard Street to check out the famous winding stretch of the street.

The brick-lined street zigzags around the residences’ bright flower gardens

It was quite a long walk all the way to FIsherman’s Wharf to catch the ferry to Alcatraz Island (aka The Rock), San Francisco’s famous abandoned prison.  The ride itself offered great views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city.

Once on the island, an audio tour took visitors through the cellblocks and offerred snippets of the prison’s historic past and some of its infamous inmates.

Recreation yard – the yard offered rare freedom of movement, association and choice.  Some inmates chose to play baseball or run laps.  Others simply walked to the top of the bleachers and looked out at what they were missing.

Isolation cells or “The Treatment Unit” – reserved for unusually dangerous or violent inmates.  Men received adequate food and health care but was confined to their cells 24 hours a day.

The dining hall – the food was some of the best in the federal prison system, and guards and inmates ate the same meals. 

The prison's hospital

More on San Francisco here, here and here.

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