Trip Start Mar 28, 2012
Trip End May 24, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, April 28, 2012

This morning I joined the hordes heading in the direction of Downtown - where were they all going on a Saturday - ask Petula Clark! I made it through to the Silverlake Farmers Market on Sunset Boulevard which to be honest was a disappointment. A small selection of produce - but all of fresh and by UK standards affordable - the strawberries tasted lovely. I don't know about you, but from TV and imagination, I have a mental image of what these exotic and familiar places should look like. This was Sunset Boulevard on the edge of Hollywood. As you can see from the video, it is like any other neighbourhood - nothing special at all, apart from the Palm Trees.

I then set out to try and get a photo of the Hollywood sign as I was in the neighbourhood. this was a challenge. I had interrogated the web and put the recommended address into the sat-nav but alas it left me well short. I did not give up and followed my nose for about 20 minutes driving up into the Hollywood Hills - now this is something special and yes I wouldn't mind a house up there. Eventually the road gave way to dirt track with huge pot holes and cars parked all along one side making it difficult to avoid on-comers and pot holes. I made it to the top and found a space - wonderful. It was quite a strenuous hike up and up in the heat to reach a good vantage point. As you can see, it was worth it. The smog-ridden panorama from Downtown to Santa Monica on the coast is expansive. this is a huge conurbation.

I the headed down the hill and cruised Hollywood Boulevard. If you can imagine Blackpool's Golden Mile with more of a movie theme - that's it. Noisy, crowded, tour buses everywhere and tacky. I gave up trying to explore on foot and headed eat to Beverly Hills. Now, this exceeded my mental pre-imagination. Extremely swanky, Astons and Ferraris commonplace as they emerged from the walled and gated mansions. Leafy and prestigious - but not much of feeling of community.

I continued east and eventually reached Santa Monica and the ocean.Everybody else had the same idea - I guess Saturday was a silly choice. I stopped for lunch in Venice Beach which was quaint and homely. I had a great slice of pizza (see, I am learning) at Dagwoods and would recommend it. From there I continued south down to Manhattan Beach. It seems the hordes from Downtown had relocated to the beach and it was impossible to park. I gave up and decided to return on a week day.

Still basking in Saints wonderful promotion to the Premier League (sorry - did I already mention that?) I will treat myself to a $6 Thai meal at the ever-friendly and local Ya Yaa as I work my way through the menu. I then hope to locate a cinema and watch Jason Statham's latest - Safe. Look out for the review on my movie blog.

That's it for today.
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