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Landmarks and me

If you go to Paris, visit the Eiffel Tower. New York, the Statue of Liberty, of course. San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.

True to this way of thinking (or shall we call it education?), on my first full day here in SF I immediately made my way to the red bridge. I have been wondering: whose idea was it to paint it red? And why would a red bridge be called Golden Gate anyways? And if there was a gate, why is it golden and where does it lead to? (I am sure google knows, so feel free to look it up..;-) )

Imagine my shock when I got off the bus and saw absolutely nothing! I must have taken the wrong stop?! No, I hadn’t. The weather had decided it did not care about landmarks and brought fog. Seriously! Dumbstruck I just sat on a wall close to the bridge I could not see and ate my apple. I could hear the noise of the cars crossing the bridge, hear the chatter of people walking on it and the honks of boats on the water below and fought my disappointment.

Resigned to the fact that that fog would stay a while, I turned right and hiked along some trails that led to the Presidio, a former military area, if I’m not mistaken. The sun came out and glittered on the water of the bay, and I soon forgot about the bridge when this beautiful scenery presented itself. The trail led to a cafè and picnic area with a little beach. There I chose a sunny spot to hang and look around. The position of the famous landmark could be guessed by some red splotches in the fog on my left. On my right side, however, a stunning skyline greeted me. Behind me, various American families were having a Saturday barbecue, couples were kissing on park benches, kids were playing with dogs on the sand, some artists were painting the skyline or the waves. The atmosphere was relaxed, so I leaned back and listened to the ocean, the sea gulls and the Saturday morning life.
By the time I got up, half of the bridge could be seen, for the record. 😉 Not that I still cared a lot.


A couple on the bus (really friendly and helpful btw) that morning had told me about Land’s end, some ruins of a bath and a national park area, so that’s where I headed next. The visitor centre had a charming cafè and I indulged in coffee and cake before I lost myself in the trees, on different trails winding between all sorts of trees off the main one, away from masses of tourists. Instead I met the lone dog walker, a family on their weekend walk, some teenagers riding their bikes, and the odd tourist like me. I took tons of pictures of this magical area and spent some me-time on a tree branch, enjoying the wind in my hair and the smell of the ocean in my nose (which got sunburnt that day, I might add..) and just did nothing.

That’s when I noticed that the fog had lifted and I could take a picture of the elusive Golden Gate Bridge. I did so mentally rolling my eyes at myself before I went back to my daydreaming.


Perfect first day in San Francisco: check.
Landmark seen: check.

Would my day have been less perfect had the fog not lifted?

Author: carasmelody

daydreamer, hopelessly hopeful, I love the power of words, I love poems, words are soulfood

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