The main reason I went to California was to see my friends R and JP and attend the celebration of their marriage. R is originally from a smaller town on the outskirts of Santa Cruz but now she lives in Oakland. Because of my travel plans, I only had one day to see San Francisco, and my priority was the Golden Gate Bridge. R had to work, so JP played tour guide. After starting off our day with some Chilean empanadas, we headed to the bridge.
There is a huge park on the San Francisco side of the bridge, where people were out running, biking and walking their dogs. It was such a nice day out and everyone seemed to be taking advantage of the weather. At the end of the running path, at the base of the bridge were these hand prints that everyone seemed to be touching before turning around. The plaque reads “Hopper’s Hands”. I had no idea what the significance was, and neither did the guy we asked happened to also be a tourist so he didn’t know either. When I got back, Google told me that Hopper was a man who volunteered on the bridge to try to convince people not to commit suicide. Very noble.
The good thing about touring around with JP is that he’s an engineer, so he could explain all the technical aspects of the bridge to me. He even drew a picture. I should have been taking notes, though, because I don’t really remember anything, except that it’s a suspension bridge, and those vertical cables are very important.
We crossed the bridge by car and then walked about halfway back across. This was actually quite stressful for me because I am afraid of heights and the bridge wobbles A LOT as the cars go across. It was like being in a constant temblor but way above the San Francisco Bay. I was also afraid of getting run over by cyclists who were zooming across the bike lanes. I felt like if I stepped a millimeter out of the pedestrian lane I was going to get clipped, but I also didn’t want to get too close to the edge in case I fell over. Yes, this is a legitimate fear of mine.
Anyway, after that, we drove up this little hill that overlooks the bridge and the whole bay area. We did a little exploring and found what was a never-used military bunker-type thing (I’m so good with technical terms!) dating from around World War I (or was it WWII?).
The Golden Gate Bridge is always something I’ve wanted to see, and if I had a bucket list (I don’t) I would get to check this one off the list. It was so impressive to be that close and see what a marvel of engineering it is. And to top it all off, it’s very photogenic.