This month we celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. After only four years of building, it was finished in 1937 and became a new landmark that is known all over the world. Thanks to the engineering mastermind Joseph B Strauss and architects Gertrude and Irving Murrow it didn’t become the eyesore of concrete pylons and yellow stripes that the navy was in favor of, but turned into one of the most beautiful suspension bridges on this planet. Watching its tall rusty-red (called “International Orange”) pillars in the setting sun takes one's breath away.
One of my dreams from a rather early age on had been to see the Golden Gate Bridge with my very own eyes. I had seen pictures of it and on TV, in various movies, and I had promised myself that one day I would cross that bridge.
This day came in late February 2001, a drizzling, cold evening. We had just landed in San Francisco and were driving north to what might become our new home. And although the fine rain drops collected on the windshield of our car, we could see the majesty of this beautiful bridge that stood with its hundreds of lights before a dark sky. I had goose bumps all over while we were passing under the first pillar and then the second one.
Over the years we have found many wonderful places that offer a fantastic view of the bridge. One of my favorites is from the Marin Headlands where you can see the bridge with San Francisco in the background. This is spectacular when the sun hovers deep over the ocean, casting its golden-red light onto the bridge and the city. It is wonderful when the fog rolls in and covers parts of the bridge. More often than not we actually didn’t see the bridge but saw faint outlines in the fog. Another favorite is the view from Baker Beach from where I took this photo.
Since that very first rainy day we have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge many times. We walked it enjoying the ever present wind and chilly conditions. My Girl Scout troop did its bridging from Brownies to Junior Girl Scouts here, walking the entire length of 1.7 miles from the Fort Point lookout to the Marin side. Whenever we come back from Germany we have to cross the bridge and that is when we think “we’re home”. But no matter how often we cross it, I still get goose bumps – those of the really good kind.