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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Day 11

I am only in the US for another couple of days so I wanted to make the most of my time and see as much of LA as possible. I prefer to use public transport to get around so I purchased a Tap card and put enough money on it for a couple of days and I was ready to explore downtown LA.
The Metro station was only a ten minute walk away from the hotel. There was a lot of art around from the flying figures to the murals which brightened up the station.

Walt Disney concert hall designed by Frank Gehry was very impressive.

This building is the fourth home of the Los Angeles Times.

Above the door were these decorative bronzes representing aspects of life in LA.

The City Hall. Built in 1928 it was the tallest building in LA for over four decades. Made even more famous as the headquarters of The Daily Planet in the Superman TV series. It was also attacked by Martians in The War of the Worlds.

Outside the City Hall there was a  Native American ceremony.

 Walking down South Broadway I came across this large mural overlooking a parking lot. Los Angeles has hosted the Summer Olympics twice. Once in 1932 and again in 1984 when many countries of the Eastern block boycotted the games.

This part of town had a number of these 'quinceanera' shops.

Quincenero is a celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday with its roots in Latin America. It traditionally celebrates the transition from childhood to womanhood.

Grand Central Market

I noticed this very long queue. I thought it was only in the UK that people queued!
It was a very, very long queue so I followed it to the front to see whether I was missing out by not being in this queue.

This was the end of the queue, Eggslut. I was not familiar with the name but apparently it is a fast food restaurant with branches in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and is known for its signature dish 'The Slut', a coddled egg on pureed potatoes. To be honest I didn't feel I was missing out.

In this part of downtown LA you will find the historic theatre area. Some of them looked as though they needed more renovation to ensure their survival for future generations.

This is the Orpheum Theatre which opened in 1911 as a vaudeville theatre. At the first floor level there are four panels depicting Song, Dance, Music and Drama - the muses of vaudeville.

This very ornate 2000 seater movie theatre was constructed in 1930/31. It was completed in less than six months at a cost of $1.5 million. Charlie Chaplin helped to fund its completion so that it would be open in time for the premiere of his film City Lights. They were able to complete it so quickly by constructing it off site and then putting it together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.It closed to the public in 1994 and sat vacant for many years. In recent times it has become a unique location for filming and  has been used in many films including New York, New York, Chaplin, Charlie's Angels II and Cinderella Man. It is also a venue for concerts and other special events.

I walked around the area admiring many of the buildings, a number of which were built during the art deco period
 Without realising I came to the terminus of the Expo Line at 7th Street. This line was extended last year out to Santa Monica my next port of call.

It took about 40 minutes to get to Santa Monica by Metro. Once off the train I couldn't believe the number of people making their way to the Pier. ( I know you can't see them on this photo but honestly it was crowded).

I wonder how many people have had their photo taken with this sign in the background.

The pier was full of eating places and funfair rides.

There was also an old carousel housed in its own building, similar to the one I saw in San Francisco.

Then it was down onto the beach. As far as the eye could see was the beautiful soft sand that I had always associated with Californian beaches and I wasn't wrong.
It looked as though a wedding or blessing of some sort was taking place here.

Lots of working out going on.

I walked along the beach to Venice Beach which all the guide books mention as a place not to miss.

This section was known as Muscle beach where there were a few  showing off their muscles but I didn't want to add to their egos by photographing them!

Yet more obstacles trying to trip me up.

Venice beach was very tacky and in my opinion not worth all the hype it gets.

 I wandered back to Santa Monica beach and noticed a number of murals.

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and there were so many people out enjoying the weather and the beach but what I enjoyed the most was being able to easily find space for myself.

Back at Santa Monica I watched on lazily as people exerted themselves.

As shadows lengthened it was time to get the metro back to the hotel. In the evening I met up with E and we went for a Japanese meal at a restaurant close to the hotel and I think for the first time on this holiday I had an early night.


  1. Your having a great time there, not sure about you but I found every thing in America so big. Always wondered where Route 66 went to

  2. Never considered LA a hiking venue. But it seems you enjoyed yourself. Yeah. To have had one more day on the rim of the Canyon, huh :)

  3. It's been forty years since I've been to Santa Monica, and it's changed an amazing amount, which I can appreciate from your pictures. Thanks for the great tour! :-)

  4. Goodness, you did all that in one day?! I'd say you are in good shape for your big hike coming up.
    Oh, and in America we do not "queue", but we do "line up." And we do it a lot. We just lined up at the coffee shop this morning because of all the people taking advantage of Easter week to come to the beach.

  5. I've never thought LA would be at all interesting nor that it would have older buildings. There seems to be plenty of interest too.

  6. Thanks for taking us along on your tour of LA. Next time you visit the states you need to come up north to the Pacific NW. :)

  7. You saw a lot of Los Angeles ! I remember the City Hall but nothing else, it was so hot and it's such a spread out city ! We mostly visited Hollywood and even met a few famous actors at that time. I didn't even know that there was a metro ! We were by car. In Santa Monica I saw the first roller skates of my life the once with only wheels in the middle ! They just came out !

  8. How I wish we had spent more time in LA this year. The marathon really ate into our time. We've been to Venice Beach and I echo your opinion.
    I posted a fabulous Frank Gehry building we found in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.
    Quinceanera is very familiar to me a we spend a lot of time in Mexico and love seeing the girls being photographed in their gorgeous dresses.
    I smiled at your use of queuing, as Irish born, I am used to it. Loved Cynthia's comment.


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