Saturday, 13 March 2004

AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY - PART 7






Our last day in San Francisco – as a group, at least – and one of our number suggests walking up to the Golden Gate Bridge, that unmistakable icon which so defines this imperious city. Charlie’s out, we think on account of his hangover, although Max suggests he might be in need of his own company after over a month with very little of it.
The North Beach area of San Francisco looks out towards Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The waterfront has a slightly faux-old world feel on one hand, and is a bit tacky on the other. But the area is clean and the air is fresh, which, combined with a few slices of pizza, sets us up nicely for our long walk to The Bridge. It’s about five miles in all, and we take rest in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts along the way.
On reaching the bridge we attempt to cross over it. I don’t like heights particularly, but I give it a go. Unfortunately I find myself consumed, quite literally, with a vertiginous sense of being off-balance and am forced to beat my retreat. Max and Nathan make it almost halfway before feeling slightly wobbly and decide on turning back themselves.

We fancy an air of sophistication tonight – no more spontaneous trips to Delirium. The consensus is to eat Italian, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Calamari, veal, bottles of fine wine, hunks of crusty bread dipped into olive oil and balsamic vinegar – it really hits the spot.
Satiated, we go for a couple of beers in Vesuvio, but we've had enough – for now – and we do the sensible thing and go home for an early night, our fingers crossed that we’ll be able to pick up that car without too much last-minute bother.






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