|The Golden Gate as seen from Land's End|
Even though I've been under the weather for the last two weeks, or so, I felt well enough to meet up with my brother for a short walk at Land's End over the weekend. Strangely enough, I don't recall ever having walked the path along the coast there before. It's literally just up from the Cliff House, a place I have been to many times over the decades, and yet I had never thought to walk just up and over the hill to Land's End. The current incarnation of the Cliff House, I'll note, is nothing like the one Adolf Sutro had built before the turn of the last century. Not one to forget his German roots, Sutro had the Cliff House built in a style meant to mimic German castles. I don't see that in the old pictures of the place, but I do see that the original Cliff House had an 'Old World' charm about it. Sadly, that first structure was destroyed in a fire over a hundred years ago. The current joint is a boxy blah of a thing. The view from the back of the building overlooking the ocean, however, can't be beat.
Across from the Cliff House, Sutro had built an observation tower (from which one could observe the Pacific Ocean and the Marin Headlands) and an adjacent viewing deck. A Conservatory, smaller than the one in Golden Gate Park, also stood on the grounds and housed Sutro's exotic plant collection. Also dotting the finely manicured grounds were various imported European statuary meant to, I would guess, give us Wild West types some 'culture'. The only statue remaining on the grounds, now a part of the SF Parks Service, is one of the Goddess Diana.
Sutro Heights ca. 1890 (above); Diana, the last statue standing at Sutro Heights (below)
|View from the path at Land's End|
My Uncle told me recently that his brother, my favorite Uncle, had his ashes spread at Land's End after he died at the age of 43 back in 1986. I was a teen then & didn't get the memo re: ash spreading, so this was news to me. Given that the wind is virtually ever present along the coast here, I couldn't help but have a chuckle at the thought of dear Uncle's ashes going every which way when thrown. Sure enough, my Uncle added that the ashes had indeed caught flight, scattering along the nearest hillside. I told my brother this story during our walk. We had a good laugh.