LA to San Fran only 12 hours?! Part 1

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Tuesday 5th October

I awoke 'again' at about 7:30. I think i had just experienced what they call jetlag. As i had woken up every hour on the hour throughout the night. We had until 12:30pm to catch our train from Union street Station in the heart of LA so we thought this would give us loads of time to visit Hollywood. We were only in LA for the day and it would have been a shame to miss it.

After spending the best part of $100 on Taxi's the previous night, we thought we'd better start using the public transport! From what i have seen in the cities we have been to so far (i'm typing this up a month late!)America has a much better public transport system than we do back in England. For $1.25 (about 70p) you buy a ticket of the driver that is valid for 1hr 30 mins, so you can use that ticket as much as you like in that time. Some cities like Seattle and Portland even let you ride for free in their downtown area. Ever think about that Mr Livingston??

After being told many directions by the checkout girls, all different which didn't help as we still got lost, we finally made it to the correct bus stop. The sight of 2 pasty looking white boys laden with rucksacks almost the size of them must have been a treat for the people on the bus, because we caught the attention of one old boy who came straight over and asked us where we were from. We then proceeded to explain where Southend was but after 15mins we gave up and just said London, that seemed to please him a lot more. Thats where the queen lives! We would end up saying London from now on, it was just much easier!

The bus journey wasn't to bad, we managed to see Sunset Boulevard and all the cinemas they hold all the film premier's. Although we did mange to miss the stop we wanted due to the incompetence of the driver forgetting to let us know! Damn you driver these bags are heavy and we hate walking with them!

To be honest we weren't overly impressed by Hollywood, there was no glitz and glammer that we expected. The stars on the street weren't overly impressive, and most shops on the strip were either closed down or tacky souvenir shops. Ideal if you want a star with your name printed on it. Granted we did only touch on LA, but we had a train to catch and if we had time we would come back to LA at the end and see more.

Our original aim was to catch the metro (underground) to Union station, which would give us plenty of time to catch our first train to San Fran. It all sounded quite simple, but after sitting on the platform for 40 mins, with no sign of the train, and no staff to help us, it all got a bit more complicated. We now only had 30mins to catch the train and the only other option was a taxi. If you can think how difficult it is to drive through rush hour in London, double it and you have LA. With 2 minutes to spare we mad it and after making the drivers day, (i gave him an extra $10 tip - $50 in total)we were running for the train. Now i hate running at the best of times, but to do it in 30 degrees heat with a bag weighing more than you do on your back is just torture.
With literally seconds to spare we made it and after a few tuts off the ticket conductor we were ushered onto the train. Bags loaded we collapsed into our seats.

Note to self: NEVER BE LATE AGAIN!
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