Chris (bovinator) wrote,

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Fran Day 8

My last day in San Francisco, Saturday, I got up early to meet some other AUC guys for a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.  The ride across is a popular tourist thing in San Francisco, with quite a few bike shops advertise the ride.  We left the Hotel around 8 and headed for Fisherman's Wharf.  Once we finally got to the bike shop, we signed our lives away for the bikes and kitted up.

Our route headed from Fisherman's Wharf, up to the piers then west towards the bridge along the water.  We first went to Aquatic Park where we could take some photos of the bay towards the bridge.  From there, the bridge looks a long way away.  We could also see Alcatraz quite well from there.  We then headed through the Marina and along the edge of the Presidio.  Closer to the bridge, we stopped at the Warming Hut to take more photos and then Fort Point, which was a fort built on the point back in the 19th century to defend the bay.  From here we went up the hill to the start of the bridge.  

Before we crossed the bridge, we stopped in at the visitors centre for refreshments and a look at a cross section of one of the cables which holds the span of the bridge.  Each cable is made up of something like 27,000 individual cables.  After water was had and lollies were eaten, we headed out across the bridge, which was quite easy after all (someone once told me it was quite hard).  It was a gentle uphill to the mid point of the bridge, then a very easy downhill to the other side.

At the other side of the bridge, there is Vista Point, which is a mountain lookout over the bay.  This was a bugger to climb, pretty steep and windy.  A couple of the guys made it to the very top, but me and a couple of the others stopped halfway up at one of the first lookouts.  The view was pretty spectacular.  From here, we locked up our bikes and walked underneath the bridge to the Bay Area Discovery Museum.  We didn't actually go to the museum, but looked out at the view from this point (which was different to the other side).

It was then we split up.  Some of us had a plane to meet (myself included), so two guys went on into Sausalito (which I really wanted to see, but couldn't due to time) while the rest of us rode back to Fisherman's Wharf.  The ride back across the bridge was much easier for some reason, possibly due to a tail wind, but from memory it was more of a cross wind than anything else.  Once the bikes were returned, we returned to San Francisco, bought lunch and returned to the Hotel - just in time for one of the guys airport shuttle.

I went back to my room and packed. Once ready, I checked out and made my way to the BART station 4 blocks from the Hotel for my trip to the airport.  I believed to have left enough time to get there and check onto my flight, however, the train took 30 minutes longer to get to the airport than the trip from the airport when I arrived.  Combined with the fact that I got lost at the airport meant that I found the check in desk with 2 minutes to spare!  I had a domestic flight from SFO to LAX, so it was a different terminal and the carrier's desk was right up one end of the terminal when most of the terminal was United Airways (mine was American Airways).  I did make it onto the plane and it was a quick 57 minutes to Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, due to my timing and thus my seat on the plane and a fair bit of smog, I didn't get to see much of LA as we landed.  I couldn't see anything past the airport on the ground either.  So, I just made my way to the gate for my Qantas flight back to Sydney.  Once I was on my way back to Sydney I was able to get to sleep quite easily.  I ended up sleeping for about 8 hours (or more) of the flight, which made it very quick.  It was an odd sensation as that the entire 14.5 hour flight was in the dark as we were leading the sun to the west.  Ruth (Sal's Mum) picked me up from Sydney airport and we headed home.

It was a good trip, a whirlwind trip, but good all the same.

Photos from my trip can be found here.

Tags: wwdc

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