Today was our first day in LA, so we booked an LA tour to get a feel for the city.
The tour started in Santa Monica and took us to the end of route 66 (which is just around the corner from where we're staying), and then onto the Santa Monica Pier (we got some great sunset shots from there yesterday.
Santa Monica Sunset 4
From there we headed in to the Hollywood area (Belle Aire) and went around to see a few homes of the starts (Adam Sandler, Goldie Hawn, Keanu Reeves). The thing is most of them have large trees and fences and hedges around their property, so all you generally get to see is their gate. The driver said most of them don't like tour buses, except Adam Sandler, who'll wave or even get on the bus and say hi. The area looked and felt very rich. Miley Cyrus is building her house - I think the cost was $122 M !
After that we headed down town to Rodeo Drive. This is an area where one shop owner (the son of the original owner who just inhereted everything at 19) drives a $2 M Bugatti (which was his fathers), and other shops where you can't get in unless you've made an appointment and I suspect passed an appropriate credit check. The area reeks of money and indulgence - but it's very pretty.
We went down part of Mulholland Dr, and then up to a lookout to see the Hollywood sign. You can't get within 5 miles of it any more.
From there we headed to down town LA and stopped near Hollywood Blvd, where the Hollywood walk of fame is and Grauman's Chinese Theatre is. In fact, they were setting up for an opening of Underworld 3.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
The next stop was Universal Studios for lunch - there's an area there you can go without entering the park. It's just shops and restaurants.
Our final stop was the pueblo of Los Angeles. This is the site where the Spanish King sent people to found a city.
- El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula—'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion' was founded twelve years after the first Spanish presidio, the Presidio of San Diego, and mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, were established in 1769.
Los Angeles is a very short name for the city of the Angeles.
After that it was back to Santa Monica for a walk around the area in the evening.