Land’s End is a gentle hike of 2.4 km that offers you spectacular and unique views of the Pacific, the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge (How much I love this one!). It was an excellent idea to go there on a Monday morning, as I was pretty much on my own all way long.
Some stops worth being mentioned:
-The Bridge views
- The USS San Francisco memorial is dedicated to an illustrious war ship with a particularly extensive and interesting history. This ship contributed to win crucial naval battles, especially the Guadalcanal one that is recognised by WWII historians as a turning point in the Pacific war, as Historian Eric Hammel sums it up: On November 12, 1942, the Japanese Imperial Navy had the better ships and the better tactics. After November 15, 1942, its leaders lost heart and it lacked the strategic depth to face the burgeoning U.S. Navy and its vastly improving weapons and tactics. The Japanese never got better while, after November 1942, the U.S. Navy never stopped getting better."
An interesting discovery was to learn that a boat could receive military medals too, like any other soldier. Hence, the USS San Francisco earned 17 battle stars during World War II, and she was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for her participation in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in August 1942. Good girl!
The bridge wings were removed as part of a repair taking place in 1942, and are now used for the Memorial. The holes are real bullets/shell impacts.
- the Mile Rock Beach, near the half mile mark. There is a stairway leading down to this beach. At first I was a bit put off by the 100 or so stairs to ascend. But I did not resist the labyrinthic trip down. The rocky sanctuary and the tumultuous tides of the ocean at its end are totally worth the sore legs!
I learned too that each lighthouse flashes with a signature pattern, and that by "reading" those signals, sailors can determine their location and navigate in poor visibility conditions in those treacherous waters...
The beeping of this one was at first really endearing and provided the perfect soundtrack for my walk, but quickly became quite repetitive.
It has been dismantled and serves now as a heliport. For which purpose, I have no idea!
My walk finished in one of the poshest area I have ever been in my life. The mansions there were either extremelly ugly or amazingly beautiful, with nothing in between. All kind of material (wood, concrete, stones), colours (with an emphasis in the pastel ones) were used here, hence zero architectural harmony! But I have to say that the view totally makes up for the lack of style! Right above the Ocean for most of them.