Alcatraz has a long history, which you can discover with your own eyes on a tour. Beatriz (my finance) and I had chosen a night tour at 7:00 p.m. And we were lucky that day: The sun was shining and almost no clouds were on the sky. Even though the fog started to come out behind the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tim was our tour guide for this evening. He started with the history of Alcatraz. 1775 the Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed into San Francisco Bay and named its islands. There are several explanation for the name ALCATRAZ. The most likely, is the story about the flour, which is called like that, had given the island his name. Or Tim told us about 1861, when Alcatraz became the first civilian prison. He gave us also some idea, how the life looked like during the time Al Capone was "living" at Alcatraz. Several buildings are in a pretty bad shape, however with the background information of Tim this ruins became alive. I could actually see the prisoner walking around. I seemed to feel how it must be hard, when they've heard the voices on the boats in the bay during the New Year night.

After this interesting introduction Beatriz and I took an audio-tour. Everybody got a walkman and a tape in the selected language. The start of the tour was marked with a big sign. Later on you were guided by the guide on the tape. However, they not only directed you around, no, they made you feel, as if you were standing in the middle of the full prison 50 years ago. All over you've heard voices and noises. And while the guide explained something about the cell, an other voice was screaming in the background.

Alcatraz it not just an old museum, it is a interesting place to discover with a lot of history. Luckily the island was designed as part of the newly created Golden Gate National Recreation Area at 1972.

One of the highlights this night was not the cell of Al Capone, the story of the "Creepy" Karpis, the lighthouse or the thousand birds, no the most beautiful and romantic was the sunset right behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the City Skyline of San Francisco with all the lights.

Alcatraz by night is so different and much more mysterious as during the day. I hardly recommend you the get on a night tour when you visit Alcatraz for the next time.

During the summer you have to book your tour 1-2 weeks ahead under the following number: 415 705 55 55 (Telesales Ticketing Service)

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