It sure felt like a lone walk up and down a lone mountain that afternoon in the the area of Laurel Heights. Not a soul to be seen under the Californian sun. A bit surreal. But there I was, heading towards the Presidio Park in search of the famous bridge.
I don't know what it is with me and American parks, but I tend to get lost in them. I can navigate through a packed Japanese metropole but I can't do American parks. Shocker. May I ask, why aren't there any area maps in them? And why oh why are highways running through them? In San Diego I couldn't find ANY pedestrian exit to the Balboa Park and ended up crossing the speedway to reach the other side! Crazy talk. And that is pretty much how I got lost in the Presidio Park as well, desperate for the bridge because the sun wasn't very high in the sky anymore, ah, and also because my legs were starting to hurt bad. But there is always hope when one comes across such a panel out of nowhere:
At last a view of the bridge! And Sausalito on the other side. The weird thing with this bridge is, the closer you get, the further away it feels! It's the weirdest feeling. But maybe I was quite tired and that affected my perception and estimation of distances.
Errrm, almost there, Marie, but the pedestrian path is up there. Up!
OK! Let's do this before sunset and closing time.
Crisis counseling phone about half way through. In case you are tickled by the desire to jump. Hmm, I'm not sure how helpful that is, considering the deafening noise levels on the bridge, I find it hard to imagine how one could have a conversation with a counsellor at that point!
I've reached the other side in about 45 minutes, very happy about the experience but frozen through, even though my neck was completely wrapped in a knit winter jersey I bought in a thrift store that morning.
Looking back at the city I mentally followed my own footsteps from the hotel to the other side of the bridge through the hills, and it felt like what? I did all this? Seriously? And now going back? Noooooooooooo…… (face-palm). Plus there was absolutely NOTHING on this side of the bridge. Not the smallest of vending machines, let alone a coffee shop or a convenience store. Another shocker. If this were Japan there would be hundreds of "tourist pleasers" (food stands, drinks, souvenir shops, "I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge" authentic laminated certificate etc) because for one thing, that's the best way of making money! The Americans are slightly behind with these matters :-)) Just kidding… a bit.
Anyway… after crossing the bridge back to San Francisco I did take a bus heading down town and treated myself with the most fantastic lobster ravioli and a glass of Pinot Noir. It was a fab day. It sure was.