Approaching Los Angeles
Once we arrived at our hostel in Venice
beach we quickly realised that it was not the same style as what we
had become used to. We were greeted by a scruffy old guy who showed
us to a room with very bizarre organisation. The bunks were curved
against the wall like a crescent, which meant that the matresses on
the ends were half hanging off, there was also only one ladder which
was a health hazard in itself. Unfortunatly we ended up on the top,
so every time we wanted to get on on off we had to clamber across the
top of the other one's bed.
Piano man on the broadwalk
Not fun. The beach was 35 minutes walk
away not 15-20, down one of the most unattractive streets I've ever
seen! On the first evening we decided to wander down and stroll down
Venice boardwalk, having heard that it was lively and bizarre. I was
terrified, we turned the corner and were faced with hundreds of
people swarming down the street which was flanked with people trying
to sell all kinds of rubbish and tramps pushing past with shopping
trolleys etc. I am quite sorry I didn't get a proper picture of this,
as it was never that busy again (it was Sat).
The next morning we decided it was far
too windy for the beach, so walked down to Santa Monica pier which
was about 4 miles in the end. Just before we got to the pier we came
across the original 'Muscle Beach' location.
The posers on the beach!
The huge weights and
steroid filled guys were down towards the Venice end, and what
remained was more like gym equipment. We sat and watched for ages as
people did back flips off parallel bars and swung on the rings. They
were fantastic, and of course tanned and semi naked (because you just
can't do your gymnastics training with a t shirt on apparantly). We
had the most fun watching the guys who were they purely to pose,
which waltzed in with their tiny shorts and sunglasses, then hung on
the bars like a chimp for a couple of minutes before doing some
stretches, all the while looking to see who was checking them out.
The following morning we managed to sit
on the beach for a couple of hours before the wind picked up again,
and we felt a little bit like we were just hanging around. The area
had nothing to do except the beach and the hugely pushed expensive
Dustin Hoffman queuing for the cinema
There was nothing attractive to walk round, no nice streets to
see, it was just a dump. We felt a bit miserable and dissapointed
with our LA experience and ended up just going to the cinema!
However, while waiting for the film we saw Christopher Eccleston and
Dustin Hoffman!! Actually I only saw the back of Christopher
Eccleston's head because Lisa casually pointed to him as he walked
past 'see that guy, thats......'. I was not impressed but she said
she didn't want me to get over excited and make a fool of myself
(remembering the 'I love you David Beckham moment' with shame).
However when she looked over and said 'that looks like Dustin
Hoffman' I very calmly responded that it was because it WAS Dustin
Hoffman! Then he bought a ticket at the cinema we were waiting for,
so we went into the foyer and just hung around like losers because we
were too scared to go up to him!
So we were so far less than impressed
with LA. The hostel seemed like a cross between a hostel and a
homeless shelter, full of dubious characters. The area was dirty and
full of tramps. Having said that, the beach WAS gorgeous, Santa
Monica beach was the inspiration for the TV show Baywatch and had the
stereotypical lifeguard towers! We saw a gorgeous sunset on our first
night, and I built a good sandcastle......