I remember that when I was a young kid, the father of a friend of mine had a picture of Alcatraz in his apartment. He had visited the prison years earlier, but he had told me its story and how impressed he was by it. He did not fail to mention the story of a couple of inmates who fled Alcatraz in the 60s and were never seen again.

So when I recently had the chance to visit a friend in San Francisco, I took the ferry over and finally visited Alcatraz myself.

The island is beautifully located in the San Francisco Bay and overlooks the eastern part of the city with all its steep streets. To its west the Golden Gate Bridge was covered in clouds – as usual.

Alcatraz Island is part of the National Park System and kept in or restored to its state as left behind in 1963 or 1971 respectively. After the prison was closed in 1963 Native Americans occupied the island from 1969 to 1971.

Today the prison and some related buildings are part of the museum, while the rest of the island remains as a nature reservation, allowing mainly birds to live and breed undisturbed.

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