The second leg of the California trip was visiting Los Angeles and then driving down to Joshua Tree National Park. There is so much to see in LA, that a few hours are not sufficient. After picking up a rental car at Union station we drove to the Griffith’s park. This is a hill in between the city (just like ..amchi MIT chi tekdi) is a perfect pit stop to see the famous Hollywood sign on one side and Downtown LA on the other. Somehow, we thought the sign would be huge, but it was so far away, that that I was glad to bring my 55-200 zoom lens to capture it (of course it was Hollywood ..every thing behind the scenes look bigger and better than in reality! ).
After taking some pictures there we drove to the Hollywood avenue. Hollywood walk of fame are golden stars embedded on the sidewalk here, each one dedicated to a film personality. Chuck Norris, was right there and I could not pass him without taking a picture. This street features restaurants, theatres, museums and tons of souvenir shops.. Everything revolving around Hollywood. Lots of people have open bus tours here which you can go on if you have ample time with you. Big Bang theory was getting shot somewhere in the area at that time.. I soo wanted to see Penny!
We then visited La Brea Tar pits. These are live tar/ oil preserves. This is an interesting place where archeologists have found fossils that surfaced due to the motion of this tar over thousands of years. The picture below is of a live tar pit where you can see an air bubble trapped beneath a tar layer. The air eventually cracks the tar layer and the bubble bursts. Fossils of bisons, saber tooth tigers, lizards, swans, storks and vultures are few amongst the thousands of fossils found here. There are live tar pits here where excavation is ongoing. Science loving people could easily spend couple hours here in the pits.
Ok.. back to the world of filming, now was the time to visit the place where filmstars live and shop. Beverly hills is the area where many film stars have their houses. You can buy a map of the area which shows the locations of the residences of your favorite stars. Close by is Rodeo Drive which features shopping destination for the affluent. People from Bangalore, its like Brigade road, but for film stars. We could only window shop here, and then we were off to Santa Monica.
Santa Monica is situated on the coast. It has a nice pier full of restaurants, music and excellent views of the ocean. We were there right for the sunset and then had dinner there. The evening was made lively by street musicians playing violin and guitars on the pier.
A long drive to Joshua tree National park was still in front of us. We started for Joshua Tree at around 8pm in the evening. The one place which was on the cards but we couldn’t do is Venice beach. So, anyone of you if been there.. would love to know your experience!