I have said this on a few posts, but I love bridges! My latest bridge post was Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida. Today I take you to the Bay area of California to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This iconic bridge, according to Frommers travel guide, is described as possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed bridge in the world. I have to agree, that it is quite amazing.
Now for a little information and history. The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the one-mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the American city of San Francisco, California – the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula – to Marin County, carrying both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It opened in 1937 and was, until 1964, the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet. The bridge-opening celebration began on May 27, 1937 and lasted for one week. The day before vehicle traffic was allowed, 200,000 people crossed either on foot or on roller skates. On opening day, Mayor Angelo Rossi and other officials rode the ferry to Marin, then crossed the bridge in a motorcade past three ceremonial “barriers”, the last a blockade of beauty queens who required Joseph Strauss to present the bridge to the Highway District before allowing him to pass. An official song, “There’s a Silver Moon on the Golden Gate”, was chosen to commemorate the event. Today they estimate that they receive more the 10 million visitors a year. The Golden Gate Bridge is very popular with pedestrians and bicyclists as well, and has walkways on either side of the six vehicle traffic lanes. Initially, they were separated from the traffic lanes by only a metal curb, but railings between the walkways and the traffic lanes were added in 2003, primarily as a measure to prevent bicyclists from falling into the roadway.
The main walkway is on the eastern side, and is open for use by both pedestrians and bicycles in the morning to mid-afternoon during weekdays (5 am to 3:30 pm), and to pedestrians only for the remaining daylight hours (until 6 pm, or 9 pm during DST). The eastern walkway is reserved for pedestrians on weekends (5 am to 6 pm, or 9 pm during DST), and is open exclusively to bicyclists in the evening and overnight, when it is closed to pedestrians. We have been there several times, but have not taken the opportunity to walk or bike across it. Apparently there are bikes tours that take you across the bridge as well as through nearby Sausalito. Sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to San Francisco. We will have to look into this the next time we are there. I do remember how cold it was when we were walking around the Presidio. It was so windy and the chill was going right through us. I grabbed a few night pictures, but it got cold really fast. Reminded me of Mark Twain’s quote that “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” ha-ha. We felt it that night. Whenever you go, and how ever you get to explore it, embrace it. It is one of the most beloved bridges in the world, a work of art, an engineering marvel, and an American icon. Enjoy and marvel in its wonder. Please share you experiences at the Golden Gate Bridge below. Would love to hear from you.
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