The first time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, I was in a plane. Only its two towers were visible; the rest of the bridge was hidden in the fog. I found out later that fog is a common weather phenomenon in San Francisco and the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are often as much as you ever see of it from an airplane.
I didn’t get any closer to the bridge that time ― or see anything of the city ― as I was merely on a stop-over on my way to somewhere else.
The second time I saw the Golden Gate Bridge, I was in a car driving over it. I’d been visiting a friend in the Sonoma Valley and, after a couple days of touring wineries and wine-tasting, we decided we should spend a day in San Francisco. When you drive from the Sonoma Valley to San Francisco, you enter the city by crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge.
I couldn’t stop marvelling at the bridge; I may even have giggled. My first thought was probably, “Wow!” I know for sure my second thought was, “The Lions Gate Bridge is just a toy compared to this one!”
The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1936, and I like to think of it as the Lions Gate’s older, more grown-up sister. At six lanes, it’s twice as wide as the Lions Gate and it’s a kilometre longer. Those three additional lanes are what impressed me ― it feels more like an expressway in the sky than a bridge.
It I don’t know if the Golden Gate Bridge would have impressed me as much had I not been so familiar with driving over the Lion’s Gate Bridge. But I do remember I asked my friend to drive over it again, just for the thrill of it.