One of my favorite travel bloggers is blessing The Hickman Five today. It is the 'birthday' of the Golden Gate Bridge. Melissa with Hipsters Guide to Road Tripping visited this amazing structure -- here is her story.
Standing on the popular Pier 39, one long bridge jets across the San Francisco Bay to Oakland with an eerie fog over it. The Bay Bridge is almost as iconic at the other, but only because it’s one of the largest double decker bridges in existence. To left you see a large, red structure that is often half covered with fog coming off the Bay. The Golden Gate bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the United States and is the staple of San Francisco.
Seeing the bridge gives you an effect almost like seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. You know that the structure is large. You’ve seen photos of it in your travel or geography books, but there’s no way you can imagine how tall it truly is. Being a bridge, of course you want to stand at one end to take a photo, trying to get the bridge in the distance with the Bay in the landscape as well. You want to get a snap from one side shooting across the other as well. It’s nearly impossible to get the entire bridge when standing close to it (yes, it’s THAT big). However, it’s not just “the” photo you need to get. When I was in San Francisco I knew I had to cross the monument.
My friends and I took a bus tour because we felt it was the best way to truly appreciate our visit to the City on the Bay. On one tour we got on the wrong bus. It was this goofy half-covered bus with one of the funniest tour drivers I’ve encountered. In just a matter of minutes on this tour, we found ourselves driving down the 101 (singing Phantom Planet’s “California” the entire time), crossing the bridge to Sausalito. At first it was fine, just like crossing any bridge in Milwaukee or Chicago, but then it seemed like we were on the bridge forever. I sat in an uncovered seat and tried so hard to not look up. I failed. I couldn’t take my eyes off the structures jetting into the air above us. My stomach turned as if I was looking up at the Sears Tower. Being afraid of heights, the entire situation was completely overwhelming.
Once we were back on solid land, my stomach settled just a little. We enjoyed some shopping in the area and returned to the bridge to complete our tour. I chose a seat that was covered this time, and found that crossing the bridge was far less traumatizing. Looking back I laugh now, yet still feel a little queasy over the enormity of this structure.
I’ve seen London Bridge, Tower Bridge and other iconic bridges in my lifetime. However, nothing left me as mesmerized and in awe as the Golden Gate Bridge.