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Los Angeles

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 20 October 2015 | Views [203]


Well, it had been a hot sticky night, but this morning seemed fresher, blue sky with a few white clouds, a perfect Southern California day.

After a lazy start we headed for Hollywood Boulevard to see the Walk Of Fame; a long street with stars set in the sidewalk, a star for each Hollywood star that bought one (apparently it costs $7,000 for the star to have a star on the street). Not very impressed, plus very difficult to park and there were police everywhere. So we moved on and headed for the hills - Mullholland Drive, a winding road high over LA, with great views, but we could see the very obvious effects of all the traffic in LA, a thick haze hung over the city. There is a lookout from which you can see the world famous Hollywood sign and then out over downtown LA, selfies and more photos and we drove further along the Drive, twisting and turning just below the crest of the Hollywood Hills. Down Laurel Canyon and back into LA, onto Sunset Boulevard and through the Sunset Strip and on to Beverly Hills. We drove several streets on the hill, but couldn't find any impressive houses, all were pretty small and quite. Jammed together on the hillside.

Only when we dropped down to the Santa Monica Boulevard did we see the larger houses, and they were much more impressive. Right by the Beverly Hills civic centre, an historic Spanish Colonila style building, we found the Beverly Hills Art Show, hundreds of stalls strung through the park, selling all sorts of art. We needed lunch and found a small group of food vans, one of which sold New England lobster in rolls. Absolutely delicious and a very generous filling too. Next, to the shaved ice van, we bought a lovely confection of espresso coffee, vanilla ice cream, coconut syrup and lots of shaved ice, really hit the spot on this very warm day - 80F.

We wandered through the art show, but nothing really grabbed us until we saw Ira Meyer's photographic stall. Photographs were taken in the Arctic; they were stunning, so we bought a few. On to another artist, Lori Slater who had a style we liked, so bought a print. Time to move on.....

So, time for the beach, we drove west to Venice Beach. Changed on the beach and into the Pacific Ocean, the other side of the Ocean from our last dip! It was refreshing, but the surf made it difficult to swim, the wind and the breakers were quite strong, but we made the effort! A few zzzzzzs on the beach then we strolled along the front. All very tacky, lots of T-shirts, massages, cheap souvenirs, entertainers, but not very different from many seaside resorts the world over.

It was still warm and sunny, so we drove along the coast to Santa Monica, found we had to pay to get to the beach so we moved on as it was late afternoon. Driving down Main Street, Santa Monica, for Ruth to look at the shops, Hotel California by the Eagles came on the radio, up went the volume, and we sang along (!). So, back inland on Route 10. Along the way, on Fairfax Avenue, we found a little area with lots of Ethiopian shops and restaurants and decided to return for dinner.

The Merkato was almost full, a good sign for a restaurant. Many Ethiopians were eating there. The food is served on a large platter accompanied by a plate of flatbread (very soft and almost like large thin Canadian pancakes). There was no cutlery, so the idea was to use the flatbread to pick up the food and eat it. A lot of fun, but we were overwhelmed by the amount of food. A different experience and a nice change from the usual steak and burger restaurants.


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