On the Lighter Side: Exploring the wonders of the world

Joe Guilbeau

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the longest and most spectacular bridges in the world. It spans a channel at the entrance of San Francisco Bay. It connects northern California to the peninsula of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

The bridge towers are among the first structures seen by ships approaching San Francisco.

Joe Guilbeau

It is a suspension bridge, which means the part cars drive on is hanging from cables. The bridge opened in 1937. Before then, people had to ride a boat across the water.

The color of the bridge is reddish-orange. It’s painted that way so drivers can see it better in fog. There’s a lot of fog in San Francisco.

Also, it just looks pretty. You have probably seen it in pictures. It’s an iconic symbol and the most photographed bridge in the world.

I’ve never had the opportunity to cross the bridge, but I sailed under it several times courtesy of the United States Navy. Treasure Island, at that time, was a major transition point for Navy personnel.


The Sistine Chapel is a famous chapel in the Palace of the Vatican of Rome. It was erected by Pope Sixtus IV in 1473 The chief papal ceremonies originate from the chapel. The chapel is also where the cardinals vote for a new pope. Canonizations and other ceremonies are held at St. Peter’s Basilica.

It has on its walls and ceilings some of the greatest art ever introduced in the Western world. Brilliant artists of the 1400s decorated the walls with paintings that tell the stories of Moses and Christ.

On the ceiling are biblical stories by the great artist Michelangelo, painted between 1500 and 1518. The stories tell the history of the creation of the world, the fall of humanity and the great flood on the wall above the altar is “The Last Judgment,” also painted by Michelangelo.

The famous paintings on the ceiling are called “frescoes.” Michelangelo painted them on plaster. He stood on a tall wood platform and re ached above his head to paint. It was hard work.


Chile owns several small islands in the Pacific, including Easter Island, which is about 2,300 miles west of the mainland.

Jacob Roggevee, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to see Easter Island. He discovered it on Easter Sunday 1722, and gave the island its name.

Scientists believe Easter Island was settled between 900 and 1200 A.D. The settlers were Polynesians.

The early islanders created is famous statues, which were possibly intended to honor ancestors.

Today, more than 600 statues are scattered on the island. Most are between 15 and 20 feet tall, but some rise as high as 40 feet and weigh as much as 90 tons.

The islanders used stone handpicks to carve the statues from the rock of an extinct volcano. Today, tourism and the production of wool for export are the main industries.

It is said that even today erecting such large statues and balancing the cylinders on them would be derelict. It is not known how they moved the heavy structures.