It was a windy and cold day today. Actually, it has been raining all week. However, todayÂ was the pick-you-up type of wind. And what a perfect time to go to the ocean (or so Mike told me). We went on an adventure to Lands End, which is (as suggested) at the very tip of the peninsula. At first, I was hesitant and grumpy, finding myself going along on a hike in cold weather makes me so. Actually, cold weather often makes me disgruntled and sullen (unless I am indoors watching rain/snow fall). So, in my most brilliant of moods, we drove to the park, along the ocean. The sand was dancing like dervishes, and the waves could not wait to crash boisterously on the shore. (In strict confidence, such dramatic weather excites me a little.) I enjoy drives along beautiful scenery immensely. Especially with Mike.
When we reached the area, it was nothing short of breathtaking. Although there were many paths to choose,Â butÂ we decided on the closest one to us (Sutro Baths). It is amazing to think of anything thriving in theÂ constantÂ wind and chaotic weather thatÂ the cliffs experience, andÂ yet, there were plenty of flowers already inÂ bloom and shrubberyÂ shiningÂ bright green.Â Â Although I fear I did not do justice to the flowering plants, as my hands were very cold, and the wind kept trying to blow my camera away. All pictures were taken in quick, very quick motions.
After walking for a few minutes, into the wind, a sign of hope in the way of sunlight began to appear. We were near the top of the path, where a cemented area was located, above a pool of sorts. The steps to this were closed, as the waves would probably sweep you easily into the ocean. There was charm to the old steps below. A certain element of beauty as the waves would crash into the pool, leaving behind only the white foam as evidence. The sound of the ocean and the seagulls was all you could hear. And from this point, the panoramic view was just breathless.
As we moved down the cliff hugging path, toward the bath remains, the sun warmed our backs. No more cold ears. We found our trip getting slightly easier. Even some new scenery appeared, in the form of a natural cave. Although you could see the narrow, white light at the other end, it was interesting nonetheless. The cave was a combination of rock and sand, which over time had created some beautiful layers, seen most clearly at the entrance. I can’t imagine how much funÂ this caveÂ must be to a child.
The Sutro Baths have a bit of a history behind them. Built by a wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of the city, Adolph Sutro, the baths were actually a private swimming pool complex- the largest indoor swimming pools in 1896. There were seven pools, all ranging in temperatures and water (one fresh water, six salt water), inside a monolithic glass and iron structure. Swimming while you had the ocean right beside you. Needless to say, the high cost of having to pump water in when the time was low, recycling the water, and maintenance overall, caused the baths to be closed. The building remained empty and vacant, until a fire in 1966 destroyed most of the building. The rest was demolished, as planned before the fire. The remains of the baths are the concrete walls and some steps. I cannot even fathom the grand pools, or the magnitude of the whole complex. The area lies strangely still, with some kids running to the edge and catching the mist of the crashing waves.
Hoping to catch sunset, we walked around the baths a bit, but then the cold winds became too much. So we walked back to the car, warming ourselves up and gulping lots of water. We waited patiently for the sunset, but as time drew near, clouds began moving it, until the sun completely disappeared behind them prior to setting. In a way, I suppose it did set, just not as dramatically as we would have hoped (by we, I mean me). And so we drove home, tired but satisfied, beside the sleepingÂ ocean.