Tourist today and spent all day on a bus. I'm not a big fan of buses but sometimes it's easier than getting yourself around a big city, especially when you don't have a vehicle. Now I don't mind the game of musical chairs so much as people change seats after each stop, this is despite the courtesy rules telling them not to. What was more annoying was the guide saying that it was first come, first served. So, each of the single travellers snared their own seat, despite a full bus and therefore someone was going to sit beside them anyway, but it meant couples were constantly split up unless you were lucky enough to maneuver your way on early enough.
Anyway, starting out with a tour through Santa Monica Beach we progressed to Venice Beach. Sounds like a nice name but it was actually named after Venice, Italy. Venice Beach was developed on swampy land which was drained then instead of roads, canals were built and formed the only way of transportation for many years. Eventually the canals were filled and streets formed apart from one remaining 3 mile length of canal.
The Venice Beach community is one that has developed into a place for musicians and artists and many of our famous ones started out here.
From Venice Beach it was on to Beverly Hills to check out the houses. In this area, the residences in the "slum" areas on the flat go for between $75 - 200m but in the posh areas in the actual hills, they start at $200m. Then we travelled on to Rodeo Drive for a stroll along the upmarket shops. We didn't go shopping, I can't remember which one but one shop requires $1,500 just for you to book a shopping appointment. This doesn't come off your purchases.
From Beverly Hills we headed for "The Original Farmers Market" which has been in place since 1934. Good lunch stop, big variety of food and places to try. Lots of other shops as well, even some actual farmers produce.
After lunch it was up to the Griffith Observatory for a view of the Hollywood sign, well you can't come here and not see it apparently. Then the opportunity to have a look through the observatory and use the advantage of height to get an overview of Los Angeles and the surrounding area and valleys. During the tour we often had places pointed out that have appeared in movies or TV shows, usually as a place in a completely different city. Like the Griswolds Chicago house that is actually in LA. One of the interesting ones to those MASH fans is the hills that are used for the setting of the show are the hills within the park where the Observatory is located. Instantly recognisable once told.
Then, a drive down Sunset Strip and back to Santa Monica Beach a few minutes before sunset. It was a beautiful day to the tour as the smog levels appeared very low as apparently the ocean often can't be seen from the Observatory and the sunset at Santa Monica is not always as clear.
If that wasn't too boring, we'll see you tomorrow night.