I was only going to be in the States for 9 days, starting in Los Angeles and then driving up north to San Francisco via the famous Highway 1. Los Angeles is ridiculously big, so I very soon realised that I would have to downsize my plans by a lot, and just take one area at a time.
I arrived in LAX in the early afternoon, so even after I had finally arrived at my Airbnb after a very long commute I still had time to do a little bit of exploring. I walked from the house which was a little south of Hollywood, and got a nice look into the neighbourhood on my way up towards Sunset Blvd.
Oh, right, I’m in Hollywood!
I was actually aiming for this place, In-n-Out Burger because that’s one of those places I’ve heard a lot about, and I really wanted to check it out. I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint.
From Sunset Blvd I walked further north up to Hollywood Blvd. I thought that even though I could recognize Sunset Blvd with it’s palm trees, it wasn’t that special (turns out all the good stuff is further down the street). Hollywood on the other hand – I walked right into the best part! Lights and neon and people everywhere.
I realise that Hollywood isn’t for everyone, and it certainly is very touristy.. but you know what? I AM in fact a tourist, and I actually loved it. I found it glamorous and fun, and I kept coming back for more in the 3 days I was there.
This was the day before the election, by the way.
Within minutes a man selling bus tours came up to me with an offer for a tour around Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. I thought about it for a little and then jumped on board. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see those things otherwise, so a tour seemed like a good idea.
We drove up Mulholland Drive and went up high for excellent views over the city. I also really liked seeing the super rich side of LA, with all those fantastic big houses. I couldn’t get any pictures because it was getting dark and the driver was terrible at picking spots to stop, and when he stopped it was never for long enough so I could get my camera to focus..
But I was happy to have seen that part of the city. And Rodeo Drive was luckily also very pretty in the dark.
The next morning I hopped on a bus towards Santa Monica, because I wanted to see the beach boardwalk. I was there so early that there still weren’t a whole lot of people, which was nice. I loved the place, beautiful views over the beach, and Santa Monica seems like a place I would love to spend a little more time next time around.
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Such a gorgeous and interesting place.
From Santa Monica I walked towards Venice along the Ocean Front Walk. That was another place I could recognise – that broad bike lane with beautiful, slender and tanned people whizzing by on roller skates and playing volleyball in the sand. Complete picture.
Venice comes up on you very suddenly – one moment I was enjoying the beach view, the next the sidewalk is lined with ‘camps’ with young people apparently squatting on the side walk. That and the quirky shops on the other side. I learned a couple of days later from a local that these people are called ‘transients’ which is quite different from ‘homeless’. If you are homeless you are not to blame, but if you are a transient you are seen as someone who just wants to experience what life is like on the streets, who actively chose that life. Or that’s how I understood it.
Venice is colorful and interesting, full of shall we say unique types of people. It also smelled a lot of pot. (Recent legalisation being celebrated probably).
From the beach walk I made my way towards the Venice Canals, which is a completely different story. Such a nice little area. So quiet, there were hardly any people when I was there. Just row upon row of cute little houses connected by white bridges, and lots of colorful small boats by the water. I had such a good time walking around there.
It had just caught a fish, but it was pretty challenged by the whole swallowing thing..!
Imagine living in a place like this! It seemed so peaceful.
For lunch I returned to the beach walk and ate at the Sidewalk Café. I would definitely recommend their Avocado BLT.
Have you been to Hollywood , Santa Monica or Venice in Los Angeles? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.
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