A bridge too far?

Friday 13th  


This mornings news carried a pertinent item: Today on Friday 13th the bell in the tower at Winchester House will toll 13 times today on the 13th hour, in honour of Sarah.


As planned we made our way into San Francisco today, eager to see as many of the sites as we could. Like any other city, it is bustling and crowded, the freeways packed with those bumper hungry drivers (though somehow on these roads its more acceptable, the traffic keeps flowing and everyone’s happy, no one needs to stop, just exit at the right moment-providing there is that all important sign of course) The impossible hills were just as we expected, the cable cars trundled up and down laden with tourists hanging from the side, I’d wanted to ride one, but would have spent most of our time queuing to do so, I suppose any time is busy in such a popular tourist city. We were lucky enough to have chosen a fairly clear day so the views were spectacular. Our first good sight of the Golden gate was from one of those hills, just after we had climbed Lombard St. This is reputed to be the crookedest St in the world and having seen it I think it probably is! Not for the faint hearted driver. The view from the top was well worth the climb, though I think I shall pay for it tomorrow. All the guides tell you it is a tourists dream as all the sights are close together, easily walkable; which they are, but unfortunately my poor old knees don’t do too well on the downhill – must remember to do my stretches before I get into bed. We wandered along Fisherman’s Warf, unfazed by all the historic vessels; I suppose that’s because of where we live! We sat at the end, Malc pondering what it would be like to sail under the bridge, me, wondering what it was like for all those interned in Alcatraz – did you know that it was the only state prison with hot showers? – supplied so the prisoners did not become accustomed to cold water – they might think about escape!

The Warf was thronging, we joined the hundreds of other tourists as they watched the mime artists and even smiled at the beggar who sat holding a tree branch with a sign beside him which read” The original Bushman”. Cauldrons steamed with Dungeness Crabs and boat owners called out their tours to anyone who would listen. But it was still very touristy, (What d’you expect? I hear you say?) We made our way back to China Town where we’d parked and the very kind gentleman in the pay booth gave us very useful directions to the bridge. We drove across it and parked on the other side,again along with many others, so we could walk back over part of it. It is designed to sway 27’ in high winds – this fact did not comfort me at all! Nor did the sign, which gave crisis help line number and the warning that jumping could have fatal consequences! It was very windy – though not 27feets worth thank goodness. The noise of the incessant thundering traffic did little to enhance the romantic picture that many of us might have of this very famous landmark. The views were spectacular, San Francisco at its best.

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