Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, California | Consider to be one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, the Golden Gate is a joy for the eye, with its tremendous towers, sweeping main cables and great span, it is a sensory beauty featuring color, sound, and light. If you happen to visit San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge should be a on the TOP MUST See and Do. Enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of the bridge, and once on it walk along the Pedestrian/Bike path with far views of the Alcatraz Island, the City of San Francisco and the reefs of Marin County.
The Bridge can be a very busy place, particularly during the summer months. It is estimated that about nine million people from around the world visit the Bridge each year (1989 survey by San Francisco Convention and Visitor Bureau), and last week I was one of them.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States.The Bridge will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary soon in May 27, 2012. Planning will beginning soon for this major milestone. Still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Construction statistics of the Golden Gate Bridge are presented on a cross section of one of the Bridge’s main cables displayed to the left, and a little behind, the Strauss Statue, the man who built the bridge. The main cable section demonstrates the magnitude of this incredible engineering feat. The Strauss Statue is located on the southeast side of the Bridge. The statue of the original Chief Engineer stands as a constant reminder of his vision and determination to build this modern wonder. The Roundhouse Gift Center located behind the Strauss Statue offers a wealth of books and videos about the history of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots. It is generally accepted that the Strait was named “Chrysopylae” or Golden Gate by John C. Frémont, Captain, Topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846. It reminded him of the harbor Byzantium in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.
Views of the city of San Franciso, San Franciso Bay and Alcatraz Island. Coming on the left side of the bridge you may see the reefs of Marin County. Also my suggestion for best picture moments go to Marin Headlands on the opposite side of San Francisco. From there you will get the best views of the bridge, the bay and the city. And who knows, maybe you are lucky enough to get one of the breathtaking fog moments. If you wish to cross the bridge walking, it will take you approximately 50 minutes each way.
Despite its red appearance, the color of the bridge is officially an orange vermillion called international orange. The color was selected by consulting architect Irving Morrow because it complements the natural surroundings and enhances the bridge’s visibility in fog. Aesthetics was the foremost reason why the first design of Joseph Strauss was rejected. Upon re-submission of his bridge construction plan, he added details, such as lighting, to outline the bridge’s cables and towers. The final graceful suspension design was conceived and championed by New York’s Manhattan Bridge designer Leon Moisseiff.
Access to the Golden Gate Bridge is FREE and open 24hs. The Golden Gate Bridge maybe viewed from several vista points, each with parking areas and restrooms, located on both the northeast and southeast sides. The parking areas include spaces for persons with disabilities. If you are walking there is public transportation from San Francisco to/from Golden Gate Bridge: Golden Gate Traffic and San Francisco MUNI.
Check my full photo album of Golden Gate Bridge at Carlos Melia on Flickr. Enjoy. CM
(*) Source of information Golden Gate Bridge organization and Wikipedia.