Walking across the Golden Gate bridge is a common goal for visitors to San Francisco, myself included. I arrived at the San Francisco side of the bridge from a hop-on-hop-off bus and was ready to go. I actually wanted to cycle, but couldn’t see any immediate cycle rental shops, so me and Harue decided to walk it. Walking does have the advantage of allowing more time to take in the length and size of the bridge. It’s a huge structure and would take a cyclist maybe 10-15 minutes at a casual pace, and a walker at least 30 minutes usually.
I didn’t know much about the history of the bridge, apart from a few minutes before wandering around the nearby souvenir shop, for those authentic made in China San Francisco Golden Gate plastic replica bridges that would break under the weight of a lego man. Anyway, it was made a while ago in 1937, and was the biggest suspension bridge in the world, for a few decades. Also on the opposite start at the start is an area showing damage the bridge sustained during a big earthquake a few years after it opened to the public.
It’s also rather pretty. Who would have thought that mud-red would be such a great colour for a bridge? Also most people who don’t know anything about it probably don’t know about the art deco styling all across it too. The concrete blocks as well as the giant red rising bits (I don’t know much about what each part of a bridge is called) have ridges across it. Which makes it rather nice giving a nod back to the era, and yet is not so overly done that it looks dated.
The bridge unexpectedly offers decent views. One side is for pedestrians and cyclists only so it’s quite safe to cross and enjoy the view. You can even take a peak at Alcatraz from it too.
The mid way point offered a sombre surprise. A helpline phone for people thinking about suicide. I guessed plenty of people figured this would be a good a place as any to make that final decision, but didn’t realise it was the second most common place in the world to take your own life, and number one in the world. Jumping off would mean a 75mph impact against the water, and the 5% survival chance of that had hypothermia or drowning as a back up cherry on top. Along with washing the mess away to sea too.
Anyway, I can’t end the post on that, so I’ll just whine about the wind instead – it gets breezy up there. I imagine the views are a bit lacklustre if it’s foggy too, but I was lucky enough to get a clear day so will share my photos to finish this post up. It’s also worth noting that on the other side of the bridge there is a hike available to see the Redwood trees, which are the tallest in the world. I would have gone but time restraints prevented that from happening unfortunately.