Hooray for Hollywood (or not).
6 Apr 2017
|After a day at sea relaxing and enjoying it the entertainment, we arrive in Los Angeles. LA is America's third largest city with a population of 3,900,000.
We are going on a tour, Highlights and Hollywood homes.
We board a coach to take us to Hollywood. We travel along the highway with 12 lanes of traffic and our guide points out places of interest, used in films etc. LA looks a bit grubby and not as pretty as San Francisco. We arrive in Hollywood and transfer to a smaller open top mini bus. We are taken on a journey for two hours and our driver points out the homes of the rich and famous or the ones they used to live in. These include Rod Stewart, Beyoncé, Vinny Jones, Justin Timberlake. He is very enthusiastic about the houses we can't see behind the heavy gates and walls. Other stars include Spielberg, Lucille Ball, J-Lo and the house where Michael Jackson died.
He also points out a park were dogs are walked by professional dog walkers and suggest some of them might have famous owners. In the back of the mini bus we can't help giggling. In some cases all you can see is a few tiles on the roof and a corner of guttering, but hey Justin Bieber used to live there.
We drive down Rodeo Drive which is spotlessly clean and all the designer shops are here. The cars parked along here include a Bugatti Veyron (forgive the spelling) and a smart Ferrari. Turn the corner though and it is a great deal shabbier.
After two hours of looking at the fences and gates of the famous we are released onto Hollywood Boulevard for an hour. We see the theatre where the Oscar Ceremony takes place (actually really small), the cinema where most companies hold their premieres, also very small and some of the thousands of stars in the pavement celebrating the 'famous', many of whom we have never heard of.
Some of the locals have lost touch with reality entirely and we see one man dressed in a rather stylist gold suit, cat woman and a couple of rather hairy men wearing stockings and suspenders, although they could have been offering services of a specialist kind.
As I type this we are enjoying that quintessential Hollywood / LA experience, stuck in slow moving traffic on a 10 lane freeway (perhaps if they built two more lanes it would solve the problem).
Our overall impression? The sort of place you want to visit once in your life so you can say you have been but never return to. The overwhelming question is, if you can afford the millions to buy a house in Hollywood why on earth would you not buy one somewhere where it is actually nice?
When we return Ian will be popping to see the USS Iowa (sister ship to the Missouri) which is moored just up the dock from where we are. He has been telling me all about it and I have to tell him that it will still be there when we get back and that I am sure everyone reading this will be just as excited about seeing pictures of it as he will be to take them.