Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
118Trip End Feb 18, 2007
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The urban sprawl of the LA metropolis, which we could see from the plane, just seemed to go on forever, in every direction.
At the airport, we jump into a shuttle bus to take us to our hostel destination. Where? Hollywood of course!
When we arrive at the hostel, the shuttle fare is 32 Dollars, we hand the driver a 50 Dollar bill, and he seriously asks us if we want change! Of course we bloody well do mate, we´re not leaving you an 18 dollar tip, just for doing your job!
Tipping is well out of control here in the States. I mean, we don´t mind tipping in a restaurant if the service has been good. But when bartenders expect a dollar for every bottle of beer they open, and there´s even a tipping box in the Internet Cafe. What´s this about hey? "Sir, your computers have been performing really well today, so here´s a tip for them, so you can go out and buy them all a strawberry milkshake!". We think it´s out of control, that´s OOC!
We manage to get from the entrance of our hostel to our room tip free :)
The hostel is a bit rough around the edges, but in a perfect location, right opposite the Kodak Theatre, where they stage the Oscars.
After a day exploring the glitz and fame of Hollywood, which included seeing a few famous people and seeing Jim Hill get a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, we spend the next day in downtown LA.
On the end of the CBD, just a stone´s throw away from glitzy high-rises are what remains of the original settlement. Dozens of buildings, many built in an old fashioned Spanish style, plus dozens of Mexican restaurants
Despite LA´s size, we discover that downtown LA is actually quite small, owing to the fact that LA is more like a collection of smaller cities, than one big city in it´s own right.
On the way back from downtown, we walk up from the centre of Hollywood to get a close up of the famous sign. It was so cool to see it with our own eyes. We were standing there for ages thinking, "we´ve seen this 1000 times on the TV and now can´t believe we´re actually seeing it for real".
Of course a trip to LA wouldn´t be complete without a nose around Beverly Hills, where the houses look more like countryside mansions, than inner city dwellings.
And LA certainly wouldn´t be complete without meeting up with Bahareh, a friend of Marc´s who he knows from studying in San Sebastian.
Bahareh and her boyfriend took us out to a Kosher restaurant. It´s the first time we´d tried kosher meat, which we´re told has been specially cleaned and salted before cooking, but we actually think it tastes better than standard meat. We´ll have to check out some more kosher restaurants, when we get back to London.
After eating, we went to a cool Japanese styled bar which had great views over LA. Thanks guys for showing us around. We had a great time!