Friday, April 09, 2010

A Great Walk

Today has been beautiful here in the city by the bay. Clear sky. No haze. In the mid-60’s. A perfect day to spend time down in the Marina alongside the water. Which we did.

We started with a stroll through the grounds of the Palace of Fine Arts. Inspired by Roman and Greek architecture, the Palace is what is left of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, an extravaganza that marked San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire that devastated the city.

From there we walked down to the water, past the St. Francis Yacht Club and alongside its marina. There must be something happening this weekend out in the bay. We saw sailboats and yachts from Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and more. They gave the impression of preening themselves for a special event.

A little further along is the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home to BMW Oracle Racing, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup. We were headed out toward the end of a jetty that we’d visited many times in the past. Before today the path was dirt and rocks. But now, as if by magic, it is smooth asphalt. No need to watch your step. Attention can be paid to one of the most sensational vistas in the world.

To the west is the Golden Gate Bridge. It never fails to inspire awe. To the north Sausalito and Marin County. To the east Alcatraz and behind it Berkeley and the East Bay. To the south are the hills and City of San Francisco. Breathtaking.

At the end of the jetty is the Wave Organ, an acoustic sculpture made of granite and marble. You can walk through it, sit in it or listen to it. 25 organ pipes are embedded in the sculpture at various elevations within the site. Sound is created by the impact of waves against the pipe ends and the movement of water in and out of the pipes.

So we listened to the subtle sound of the wave organ, marveled at the beauty that surrounded us and walked back very thankful for the gift of this wonderful day.


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