ARRIVED BY: Bus
DEPARTED BY: Plane
ACCOMMODATION: USA Hostels Hollywood (4 nights) and Hostelling International (3 nights)
While riding on the bus the first thing I noticed about LA was the smog all over the city. During my time in LA I heard a number of excuses for the smog . One tour guide assured me this only happens in June and he called it the ‘June gloom’. Another shuttle bus driver said it had ‘something to do with where the hills are’. But just maybe it has something to do with the number of vehicles and possibly some industry polluting the air around the city.
I decided to split my time in LA by staying in two different locations because the city is very spread out and it can take over an hour to travel from one side to the other. There was also a number of things I wanted to see around the Hollywood area, but I didn’t want to spend all my time there so I also stayed three nights in Santa Monica.
The bus dropped me off on Hollywood Boulevard and as I began to walk towards the first hostel I realised I was walking past the Hollywood Walk of Fame and started taking photos of the stars I had heard of. The Walk of Fame actually covers a number of streets and also included a lot of people I had never heard of. My first thought while walking down Hollywood Boulevard was that someone really needs to get out on the streets with a pressure cleaner because the Walk of Fame is actually quite grotty.
On my first full day in Hollywood I did a Hollywood & Beverley Hills tour and visited Madam Tassauds Wax Museum. Then in the afternoon I thought, hey I’m in Hollywood, I should try and get a ticket into the studio audience of a TV show recording. So I went online and within a couple of hours had a ticket to be in the Studio Audience of Talking Dead – Fear the Waking Dead. This was a real experience and took up most of my second day. The ticket advised to arrive at CBS Television City half an hour before the entry time and wait outside the gate. Security was high and before the audience were aloud into the building we had to walk through a metal detector, have our bags searched, hand in our phones for the duration of the visit and sign a confidentiality agreement (I expected that one). So no photo’s or further information on this.
Did I actually see anyone famous while I was in LA (besides at Madam Tassauds or the Talking Dead)? Well while I was walking down the mall in Santa Monica I came across a crowd of people. When I went to investigate what was going on I saw Gordon Ramsay filming a segment of a show called The F Word, and that was the closest I came to seeing anyone famous.
I also visited Universal Studios (the theme park) while I was in Hollywood. That was a lot of fun, I particularly liked the Waterworld Show, Walking Dead attraction and Studio tour.
I was really happy I decided to also stay in Santa Monica while I was in LA. It is a much nicer area than Hollywood. Hostelling International Santa Monica is the also the nicest hostel I have stayed in so far during my Canada USA adventure. It is very clean and modern, two streets back from the beach and one street away from the main shopping mall.
One day when I was in Santa Monica I walked down to Venice Beach, known as the original muscle beach. When I was ready to head back I worked out how to access the ride share push-bikes and rode a bike back to Santa Monica Pier and beyond. Now that I know how these ride share bikes work I might use them in other cities.
All in all I enjoyed my time in LA.