>San Francisco – Part -II

>We are continuing with my narration of the recent epic journey (of sorts) undertaken by me and my colleagues. In the previous chapter, we saw the arrivals story and how weather gave us a googly and altered our plans. This chapter continues with our journey into the Saturday with some exciting events.


-narrated by Me

Chapter 2:
Saturday:May 24 The Identity

We started early next day. Initially the plan was to go to Yosemite Park and spend the day there. Supposedly it was a beautiful mountainous area with some great views and water falls. For more information, try Google. But the guy stuck in Utah (refer chapter 1) was arriving only after mid-day and so we aborted Yosemite and planned to have a look around the see the city. What better place to start SFO than the Golden Gate? When you think about it, it’s really just a bridge and like any other ordinary bridge, it simply connects two land masses separated from each other. But the Golden Gate Bridge was bridge like none that I have ever seen. It had such a great view, that I had already clicked about 20 snaps off of my camera, before realizing it. The air was a bit cold, fog reduced visibility and there was a slight constant drizzle. But we just kept clicking the camera. We posed; we made others pose; we made others take pictures of our pose. The bridge was far from ordinary. The two giant steel piers shot up from the base before their apex hid behind the fog cover with only their red silhouette visible. The steel-reinforced chords which were as wide as an elephants head ran along the length of the base holding the base from one pier to the next while shorter and much slimmer chords provided additional support. Standing next to one of the piers gave a clear idea of its magnanimous structure and how little a speck was the human standing next to it. I read somewhere that the bridge is so long, that when they start painting it from one end, by the time they get to the other end, they would have to start all over again. For more than an hour, we spent watching and wondering at the sight of the spectacular structure, never concerned about the fact that we were getting drenched in the light, but cold rain. May be we could have enjoyed it better if the weather was sunny, but I thought it was something special, in a different way. I imagined all the people who were driving across the bridge not giving the beauty of the bridge beneath and around their cars and trucks a second thought, but then again, they were residents of that city, and had probably seen it a thousand times. For us, it was definitely special. If you take a look at the pictures, you’ll know what I am talking about. We drove a couple of times across the bridge (losing 5$ excess to the toll machine) and when we finally got satisfied, it was time to the next spot.

As per our plan, we headed towards the Exploratorium, sort of a do it yourself science museum. After losing our way and going around the location a couple times, which is interesting given the fact we had GPS navigator, we finally reached the place at about noon. We paid the entry fees; couple of our guys showed their expired student ID card and got discount for a couple of bucks. It was a good exercise of a fast mind, since the area we were about to enter demanded it. The whole room was occupied by articles and models of various concepts and achievements of science since t began. There were working models of complex equipment like motors and engines. There were scenarios and practical do-it –yourself examples for all kinds of scientific phenomena like magnetism, light and wave. One thing that really got its hooks on me was the mind and perception arena. That section of the auditorium was dedicated to the multitude of stimulus that can influence our brain, and the different ways in which it perceives such stimulus, the incredible decisions it makes out of it and more importantly, the ways in which it can be tricked to believe in things. I have always wondered about awesome power of our brain and its mysterious behavior and that day I learned more about it than I did in all of my school science classes combined. But that was not all. The explorotoriam had answers for almost all the practical questions you get when you observe the world around you, A to Z. If you are the kind who believes in evolution, then this is a place you cannot miss.

We had a great time there; more like a refresher course in level-2 science in a fun way, and then it was time to pick our friend from the airport. We confirmed that his flight has been delayed (stupid weather!!) and we went to the airport once he landed. Then we did what all great people do when they meet their old friend, We went for lunch (were you expecting a punch line?!).

Now this lunch was some thing to be noted. It was not really a restaurant or a small eatery. It wasn’t even a fast food store. It was kind of a small, but well laid out place with menu item that were similar to breakfast from south. They had sliced turkey, mash potatoes and english muffins, for lunch!!. And the taste was wonderful. After a hearty lunch, we sat there had a discussion about the next place to visit. As often as it happens, the discussion turned to debate. The final decision was made, by a show of hand, to drive along the coastal highway to Los Angeles.

On our way we made a short stop, after searching a long time for an uncrowded one, at one of the scenic beaches of the coast and spent some time with nature. There is nothing like being at the beach at sunset. Oh, did I forget to mention that there was a swimsuit model photo shoot going on (really!!) on that exact same time. We chose this location since it seemed to be unperturbed by crowds, and apparently the photographers also felt the same. So once again my luck proved to be quite something. I cannot go in detail what we did there but let me just say that the time spent at that beach was like none other. We continued our journey to the south, picking up some farm grown cherries on the way, and reached the hotel, the story of which is not a pleasant one and it’s for the next chapter.

Want Proof: Click for Pics

Continued in next chapter….Our journey leads us to a terrible lodging and delightful movie magic.