No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to Alcatraz Island. Just over a mile offshore it is windswept and battered by swift tides.
Alcatraz was a federal prison that housed some of the countries most dangerous criminals including Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Since its closure in 1963 it began to fall into disrepair but this and its location led to its becoming a major tourist attraction.
We caught the ferry from Pier 33 for the short crossing to the island and did the guided audio tour. We were able to look at the very basic cells.
Outside there was a bare recreation area from where you could catch a tantalising glimpse of the mainland. So near yet so far away.
It was a fascinating tour. Part history and part Hollywood with clips from the Clint Eastwood film.
But, three hours was quite enough time in Alcatraz.Imagine what it must have been like to have to spend years out there!