Urban Crusing


blog, daily life and living, daily crusingOlya HillComment

Last week tourist lucky stars aligned for us: as we were passing by the Alcatraz tours booth we saw the "tours available TODAY" sign ( which never happens, by the way), so we didn't think twice , got in the line, and 30 minutes later we were on the boat cruising to one of the most coveted tourist destinations that we were dreaming of visiting for the entire time of living in SF.

A little background on Alcatraz:

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock", the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of aboriginal people from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Alcatraz History tours were designed to help introduce the rich history of Alcatraz during the penitentiary years and many of the inmates who called "the Rock" home. From the mid 1930's until the mid 1960's, Alcatraz was America 's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most incorrigible inmates. Today, Alcatraz is a place of contradictions, with a grim past and an enduring future as one of San Francisco 's most prominent landmarks and tourist attractions.

Walk with us in our "signature" picture-story. Although nothing can compare to listening to the story of Alcatraz as told by the inmates themselves through the audio tours ( highly recommend!) , I hope that the pictures below will transport you to the atmosphere that resides on the island.

** while she was anxiously awaiting for the boat to deck, certain someone very timely fell asleep : couldn't wish for better favor or behavior from him! **

** the first stop, orientation, small lecture and a map, of course! **

** i adore her face expression here! she seriously told me that she is reading the directions :) cannot not love 3 year old's point of view **

** directions all figured out, plan is set and we are off! **

^^that binoculars/phone in the pocket is everything. it comes EVERYWHERE wish us for the last 2 weeks ^^

** the architectural beauty is breathtaking. it is difficult to believe that the island served the purpose of the jail **

^^ the prison itself ^^

** your "tour" starts at the entrance, even before you get to the headphones location. this is the "reception" area for new inmates. this is where they changed and washed. zero privacy **

** audio tour check point. earphones are on , "start" buttons pushed at the same time, and you travel in time within seconds with the actual guards and inmates telling the story. amazing, seriously **

** the cell. 5'x7". not much. this was "it" - the living quarters, exposed and with zero privacy too **

^^ the cell for particularly difficult inmates. it had a door that locked in addition. no light. the dweller of this cell was only allowed out ONCE a week for a shower. ^^

** officers quarters. the most astounding part was to find out that the officers actually resided on the island itself. more so - they had homes and families here. children ran around the island that has the correctional facility for some of the most dangerous criminals. the children that grew up on the island however, have nothing but happy memories **

** the dining hall. it was one of the most dangerous areas of the prison with inmates free and together in one place, according to the officers. luckily, nothing too serious ever happened **

** once you left the building, you were greeted by beautiful nature, gorgeous architecture and breathtaking views of San Francisco which is mere 1,5 miles away from the island. a double punishment, as the music from the city was easily heard by the prisoners, but the deadly currents of the ocean would kill anyone who dared to escape , even if successful ( and there were attempts!) **

^^ got to be one of my favorite pictures of Evyianne: while we were so involved exchanging our thoughts and emotions from the trip, the little man woke up and clearly did not share our enthusiasm. but that's him through and through - never hiding an emotion that guy ^^


** my scarf and jeans are from Madewell, shoes are Blochs from years ago, but JCrew has similar ones ( and really comfortable too!) , the t-shirt is Free People, sun glasses are Karen Walker, blazer is Gap ( years old too); girls dresses are Tea Collection and Peek Clothing, Vasilisa's jeans are hand-me-downs from older sisters, and are from Gap as well as her hat, kids shoes are Saltwaters ( comfortable, cute and eternal, kids you not!)  and Birkenstocks for Nikola; backpacks are SoYoung ( our favorite, in case you cannot tell :)), and Evyianne is proudly riding in Bugaboo Bee 3 all-black edition, wool gray blanket is from Sprout SF. I think this covers all of the FAQs , but if there is anything else, don't hesitate to ask here or on Instagram! xo **