This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Los Angeles day 2 and 3

Woke up very early in the morning, and left the hotel some time later (around 8) to get to another hostel in Hollywood. With the Red Line metro and my day pass the trip couldn’t have been easier, and I quickly found myself in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard! Rather bizarre feeling, actually. My hostel was just around the corner from the station, and I went there to see if they had any free beds. Luckily they did, but demanded cash payment. Making a long story short, my visa was declined in ATMs, and the bank couldn’t help me either. Deep down in a bag I found a 20 $-note and 2 10s in my pocket covered the price and deposit.

Back on Hollywood Boulevard I saw all the big theatres and the Walk of Fame with the stars in the pavement, and was shanghai’d to a “see all the star’s homes”-tour. I paid 20$, and think it was well-spent for a unique trip around the neighborhood and areas I couldn’t have reached without the guide. The guy was himself quite an experience; had come to Hollywood to become a star, and was constantly auditioning for part in movies and other shows. At the same time he was talking about all these poor people who came here to pursue fame, and had to go home, with empty pockets and shattered dreams. I wonder why he didn’t feel like being on the same path himself. He finished of our tour by being pulled over by a police officer on a motorcycle, for stalling traffic in front of the Kodak Theatre. Interesting experience indeed!

After the trip and a pizza slice for lunch I decided to jump back on the Red Line to find the Grey Line to go to University of Southern California (USC), just to check it out. However somehow I managed to take the Grey Line bus in the wrong direction. After like an hour of messing around with the bus in the other direction, which didn’t take me as far as expected I gave up, and went back underground to the metro. 

My plan for the evening was to go to the Griffith Observatory in the mountains with an exceptional view of the city and the sunset. I took a shuttle directly there, supposed to cost 35 cent, but as I had absolutely no cash, the driver let me on for free. I hoped it would be the same for the ride back from the mountain, and luckily it was. N the observatory there was a huge free exhibition with a lot of things related to astronomy. They also had a planetarium showing various movies for 5$. I chose one called “The light of the valkaries” referring to aurora (northern lights) and the Vikings. It was so extraordinary to sit inside the dome and see the sky appear with all the stars, as it would look if there were no lights from the city. The movie was really good as well, though the speaker struggled with the Scandinavian names of the figures in the Nordic Mythology. 

After the movie I laid bit on the grass, having already enjoyed the view of the city. I was waiting for the sunset. It was well worth the wait, and of course I made a ton of pics! Back in the shuttle and the metro to Hollywood, together with a guy from Israel called Matan. Bought some dinner and stuff for breakfast in a supermarket and taking photos of Hollywood Boulevard by night on the way home. Ate my dinner in the hostel common room, talking with the manager and two German guys who had just arrived. I gave them my recommendations for activities, highlighting the Observatory. Off to bed, and checking out the next morning to go to the center for my train home at 2.40 PM.

I spent my half day reading my book, and had lunch in a Mexican café. Bought a sub for train ride, and boarded the train for another 10 hour trip back home, which frankly I was missing after my few days in the big city! My trip home was nice, though I was sitting next to a VEEEERY talkative girl, who could easily have continued our communication throughout the 10 h trip. At one point I felt like stuffing my fluffy socks in her mouth. I did however manage to convince her to give me some peace to read my book and watch the view during the trip. :)

Back home in Tucson I could instantly take off two layers of shirts, and loved being back in my small desert city! 

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