Even if you’ve never visited San Francisco, you’re probably familiar with the sight of the Golden Gate bridge. However, you way not have seen it like this before. I really hope this never happens, and I doubt it ever will, but if the cables on the bridge were to fray this is how they would look. The ‘cables’ are actually made up of thousands of smaller cables bound together, and they allow the bridge to move (within reason) so that it doesn’t just break as soon as there’s a strong wind. We have a suspension bridge in Newport, South Wales that is built on a similar design and there are times that I have seen the whole bridge literally bouncing. I remember one night, when I was living in Newport, the winds were so strong that you could hear the cables whipping in the wind. I was almost too scared to cross!

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I know it’s an obvious choice, and loads of other people have probably thought of it too, but the word zigzag immediately makes me think of the famous Lombard Street in San Francisco. The residential road winds back and forth to combat the steep hill that it sits on. It’s fun to look at, but I don’t think I’d like to drive it with a hangover!

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Travel theme: Birds


Ailsa’s travel theme this week is Birds (click here to see the other entries).

When I was a child, I loved to go birdwatching with my dad. I knew all their names and markings, and my binoculars were one of my favourite possessions. As an adult, I’m a bit embarrassed to confess that I’ve forgotten all that information and I very rarely take photos of birds.

A few years ago, whilst visiting the amazing Alcatraz museum off the coast of San Francisco, me and my travelling buddy Sara noticed this bird looking after their chicks. I was unable to get any closer for a better photo as the thoughtful museum staff had taped off the area so visitors didn’t disturb the young family. As well as being fascinated by watching the birds, I also thought it was very apt they had made Alcatraz their home. For a barren and unwelcoming rock, the island has been a base for many diverse groups and purposes over the years. I felt really privileged to have witnesses the new residents settling in.