Monday, May 29, 2006

So many things...

And so little time to write about them..! Well, to start with, I am back from a great trip to California, where I visited my old friend Andres.

Downtown L.A.Los Angeles is a huge city (actually it's a city of cities), and even with a good map you could get easily lost. Most streets in a given neighborhood look similar (yes, this looks like Beverly Hills, but where I am?) and since the city lacks of tall edifications or large natural features (except perhaps in downtown or in the far north), there's nowhere to look at in case of confusion. Fortunately Andres didn't let us alone, so he and his Corolla made it easy for Kerstin and me to get to most attractions (sometimes with the help of a Google map).

After solving the transportation issue, the rest was very enjoyable. If you are looking for decent attractions in LA, I would definitely recommend:

Beverly HillsThe Getty Museum: an incredible edification located on top of a hill, whose art collection is no match to its beautiful architecture, gardens and view over the whole city. It's probably one of the top three attractions (with tram ride included) and it's entirely free...

The Universal Studios: a theme park, film studio, and, I'm sorry to disappoint you, the real location of Desperate Housewives' Wysteria Lane. Tip: There are no queues on Monday!

Venice Beach: a location you have probably seen ten times in different movies, where skaters, musicians, artists and body builders gather to show off. A Sunday visit is always a good idea.

The Cops in Venice BeachThe Santa Monica pier: You've seen it also a couple of times in the movies (usually in the cheap ones, but who cares!).

The Santa Monica pedestrian zone: Where young people go shopping, eating and maybe something else...

There are of course other attractions too, but these were the things I liked the most in LA. Rideau WineryOnce you head north, do not forget to visit the Hearst Castle (an architectural proof of what a millionaire can do in his spare time), to explore the beautiful Santa Barbara (very walkable and home to many good-looking girls), to do some wine tasting around Solvang (a Danish style pueblo), to stop at the sea viewpoints in search of Elephant Seals (let me tell you, amazing animals, even though all they do is to throw sand at themselves), and of course, to spend a day in San Francisco (if possible, choose a sunny day; once you get wet it's no fun).

One of the many viewpoints along the coastIf the trip sounds appealing to you, do not forget that California (if considered an independent state), is the world's fifth largest economy, so prepare your wallet accordingly. Meals in restaurants other than McDs, BKs and Taco Bells usually exceed the 10 dollars (add tax and tip), so unless you know places to go, you will spend a lot eating.

Ok, I gotta go now... But before I would like to thank Andres for his amazing hospitality and I hope I can pay him back now that he comes to Berlin for the World Cup inauguration.

For more pictures, click here.

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