Almost six months later, we’ve come to the last post from our epic honeymoon! As I mentioned in my last update, we got up early on our final day in San Francisco to head to the must-see Golden Gate Bridge.
Built in the 1930s, it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world at that time. It’s certainly no less impressive 80-plus years later!
From our first glimpse of the bridge, it still took quite a while to get to it. There were viewing spots aplenty, and though some were more crowded than others, it wasn’t too bad at this time of morning on a Friday.
At long last, we made it to the bridge! Its total length is about 1.7 miles (2.7 km) and we planned to cross to the other side and back. How often would we get this chance?
As you may have guessed, the bridge spans what is known as the Golden Gate, the strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Looking down is a bit dizzying! We managed to spot some dolphins swimming below, but they were too far down to get any decent pictures. Still, a really cool experience. We even spotted a young one with its parent.
While the view is incredible, the bridge itself is the main attraction. At 746 feet (227 meters) high, there’s a lot to look up at. Done in the Art Deco style, its color is “international orange,” chosen for visibility in the fog and the way it complements the surroundings. There definitely wasn’t even a hint of fog on the day we visited, but it would be cool to see.
After a good walk, we made it to Marin County on the other side of the bridge.
While it was tempting to explore more, we’d already done a lot of walking and wanted to get back to our hotel before the day got too hot. We did, after all, have a 13-hour flight ahead of us that evening and didn’t want to be too disgusting.
Though you can’t tell from the pictures, the pedestrian part of the bridge was very busy. Cyclists, walkers and runners use the same side in both directions, and there was some sort of relay race going on too, with people wearing all sorts of costumes.
Viewing spots along the way provided a good chance to stop and feel the breeze. Sadly, a lot of people jump from the Golden Gate Bridge, so there are preventive measures in place and lots of signs encouraging people to call for help.
The city was shrouded in haze, much of which was blowing in from raging wildfires in other parts of California.
Back on solid ground, we were happy to have completed the walk. It takes a while, but is well worth it to truly experience the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory, especially on a nice day like we had.
It was the perfect way to end our honeymoon adventure.
We still had a long walk ahead of us to get back to our hotel, so we took the seaside route this time, now seeing the bridge from even more vantage points.
The beach was very tempting, but we had to be back to check out by a certain time.
As we neared the Marina District where we were staying, we passed the beautiful buildings of the Presidio of San Francisco, which we’d walked through to get to the bridge that morning.
San Fran has some of the highest house prices in the US, and it’s easy to see why.
After checking out of our hotel and stashing our bags, we set out to get some lunch and explore a little bit more. We didn’t get to all the places we’d hoped, since it was hot and mostly everything was up some sort of hill, but we’ll definitely be back.
We did find a park with great views out over the bay and Alcatraz.
We’re coming for you next time, Alcatraz!
One last glimpse of that charismatic Golden Gate Bridge, for good measure.
We started to crash in the mid-afternoon heat and decided to just head to the airport early for our overnight flight. The highways outside of San Fran are crazy, and we didn’t want to risk getting caught in rush hour traffic in our Uber. In the end, we were at the airport so early that we couldn’t even check our bags in yet, so we just lounged around the terminal. In the end, it was an uneventful trip home to NZ.
We got to have a party back here to celebrate our marriage with all our close friends, which was fabulous. We’re very fortunate to have awesome support systems on both sides of the globe. And just like that, it’s now been almost six months since we got married!
Stay tuned for our February adventures on New Zealand’s incredible Forgotten World Highway. I hope you’re enjoying the sights while we’re all stuck at home for now. 🙂