Saturday, 28 April 2018

Arriving in LA and exploring the City of Angels

My contiki adventure started Monday April 2. I took the direct flight from Zurich to Los Angeles. The flight was 12 hours long, but it actually didn‘t feel that long. I watched three movies (New Home, High Society and Battle of the Sexes), slept and read (I finished You Me Everything in one go!!! BRILLIANT). I landed at LAX airport at around 4pm, immigration was surpisingly very fast, I had to wait quite a while for my suitcase though. I took a supershuttle to my hotel in downtown LA and that took quite a while. I eventually arrived at 6.40 pm. I quickly put my suitcase in my room, before going down to the lobby for a offical contiki meeting. I met Jon, our travel guide and some fellow travellers (most of them Australian 😉). It was great to get to know some of them already. Some of us went to dinner at Central Market afterwards, before going to bed, I was exhausted. Getting into the room, I actually woke up my roommate, but that was totally ok.

Venice Beach
In the morning we finally met our whole group. There were 50 of us in the beginning, not all of us booked the same trip though, so they left in Vegas for example.

Day 1 was dedicated to exploring LA. In our big tour bus we drove to Venice Beach first, where we had time to explore. It‘s such a hip and cool place, I totally loved it. Our next stop was Santa Monica. We had time to walk around, enjoy the pier, have lunch and just spend time. We had dinner on top of a mall, took pictures and found the end of Route 66.
Afterwards we drove through Beverly Hills and spotted all the exciting places like Rodeo Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Fox Studios etc. We then stopped in Hollywood. Of course we looked at the stars on the Walk of Fame, found some hand and food prints from stars, saw the hollywood sign and had a glace at the Dolby theatre.
In the evening we had our first dinner together and then went to a brewery. That was so much fun, we played jenga and every time someone managed to get a piece out, we had to say something about ourselves. It‘s a fab way to get to know each other and so many people joined in!

Santa Monica Pier

Venice Beach and Stanta Monica were great, not too impressed with Hollywood though. It was fab to see all the stars, but that‘s it. There are a lot of homeless people around LA as well, so I‘m glad we only stayed for a day. I would have loved to go to Griffith Observatory and hike to the Hollywood sign, but I guess you can‘t have everything.

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