A Souvenir from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco United States
When visiting the 1.7 mile long Golden Gate Bridge, make sure your professional camera is ready as this is one of the most photogenic bridges in the world with its iconic image of Art Deco grace and orange color. At its opening in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. But it was not engineer Joseph Strauss’s technical masterpiece which made it globally renowned but rather the breathtaking background landscape bringing busy San Francisco closer to the Marin County across the Golden Gate 1,600 meter strait. It’s a combination of technology and nature which attracts 10 million visitors every year. A perfect souvenir illustrates the Bridge’s two astonishing Art Deco towers or its six-lane cable supported road which stretches out at 67 meters above the water.
A ‘Thirty-five Million Dollar Steel Harp’
The Golden Gate Strait marks the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean and was named by a 19th century American topographer after the Istanbul harbor of Golden Horn. It took more than 4 years and 10 contractors to build this technical masterpiece which was finally opened to traffic during the Great Depression. Eleven workers lost their lives during the construction works despite some of the most original safety measure ever taken. One of them is the so-called Half-way-to-hell Club which refers to the net suspended under the Bridge which saved the lives of nearly 20 workers. At its opening, its chief engineer Joseph Strauss even dedicated a poem called "The Mighty Task is Done", a beautiful homage to what the San Francisco Chronicle referred to as the ‘thirty-five million dollar steel harp’.
Breaking Records and Waves
The newly opened Bridge Pavilion offers all the historical details, inside stories and guided orientation any tourist needs and it also showcases the original ‘test tower’ stainless steel bridge used when construction started in 1933. One of the most popular attractions is the Bridge Photo Experience where anyone can virtually climb the cables or stand on the South Tower of the Bridge in a one-in-a-lifetime photo. Whether you are interested in the engineering details behind this outstanding record breaking project or would rather prefer to indulge in a lazy cup of coffee and a mouthwatering Californian snack at the Bridge Café it’s purely up to you. A difficult choice as one of the world’s biggest national urban parks is the Golden Gate National Park which spreads across to connect the Bridge’s two ends. The perfect venue for walking, exploring, cruise boat watching or simply perfect picture taking.
Seventy-five Tributes to the Bridge
One of the few reminders of the Bridge’s old times is Fort Point, a Civil War historic building whose aim was to protect the city from any sea attacks. The rest is a tribute to modernity such as the 2012 celebration when community organizations and agencies have been publicly marked the Bridge’s 75th anniversary in the emotional ‘75 Tributes to the Bridge’. With tourist infrastructure constantly modernizing to improve visitors’ overall experience, the views one can enjoy are simply amazing: from the Golden Gate Park of the Marin Headlands to the Twin Peaks, Bay Bridge and famous Alcatraz Island. If you choose one of San Francisco Bay cruises you are most likely to miss a double-decker bus experience or a typical wine tour but will be surely charmed by the under bridge view. Whether you choose to admire it one misty Californian morning or during a warm night, the Bridge is full of lights, sounds and colors.