One of the happiest days of my life is over. Sitting in the car and leaving Anaheim, knowing that the last 72 hours in California are tick-tacking faster than I would have wished for… So much seen, or to be honest – even too much for the last two and a half weeks… Me, sitting in the car, trying to cope with the overwhelming bunch of memories and the creepy feeling of leaving California in only two days…
The bright side of road-tripping is seeing as much as possible within a relatively narrow timeframe. Anyway, the dark side of road-tripping is a pretty treacherous b*stard – the one that escorts you to the never-ending “Fake Paradise” of waking up in some beautiful random places and seeing the sun from different angles EVERY single morning! No worries, no work, no ties, no existing routine and rigidities to battle! Yes, the thoughts of quitting this uncomplicated relationship with my “Fake-Paradise” were getting spookier and spookier with each passed kilometre on the highway to Los Angeles ….
Back to February 2016 – we were planning the trip through California and probably the most difficult thing was to decide “how many days to stay” and “where”?! Primary we didn’t have really the intention to put San Diego on our road-map through California and instead – to stay in Los Angeles for probably a week. Oh my Gosh, I’m so glad we didn’t make this horrible mistake! San Diego was the best thing that happened to me in 2016. I cannot even explain the feeling when thinking of this city… These were the best three days, not only for 2016…
But you know, all the stories and superlatives about LA, and Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, and all the movie stars (and unknown-want-to-be-a-star) who live since ever there … Well, without having been in LA there is almost no chance to know what the heck is this city meant to be?!
Back to 25th of June, 2016 – sitting in the car and driving at 20 km/h on the “6+” lanes Highway to LA outside the rush hour… Thick, almost chewable air and some first minutes of a greyish landscape that was definitely nothing spectacular. Welcome to the City of Fallen Angels – or rather Smog-ing Angels! There was any kind of ***BAM*** like in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Arizona or San Diego … But instead – some strange emotions and popping out question marks.
Anyhow, we finally made it to our Hotel, called “Hollywood Historic Hotel” which we decided to book because of its central location (not to forget the secured courtyard – VERY important in L.A.!) and nice view over the Hollywood Sign and Running Canyon. Only half an hour later we had the necessity to leave the city and this is what we actually did. I had two favourites on a mountaintop of Los Angeles to visit – the Getty Center and Griffith Observatory.
First stop – the Getty Center! This place is a museum complex which consists of 11 buildings and is located in the Brentwood area of L.A. The Getty Center hosts one of the best art collection in America. It features European Art (paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc.), American, Asian, and European photography as well as the beautiful Getty gardens. So if you had the feeling of “hating Los Angeles” (like me in my first minutes in L. A.) – just go and visit the Getty Center on a sunny summer day, because it was more enjoyable than expected to be. The museum complex offers high architectural quality which somehow fits into the frames of the surrounding hills ofSanta Monica Mountains.
We spent several peaceful hours outside the city madness at the Getty Center, we had some afternoon snacks while enjoying some beautiful view over the theatrical flowering landscape of the central garden. Well, the gardens were absolutely lovely! Here you can find more than 500 varieties of plants which have been used in the landscaping of the Central Garden, several Art-fountains and many outdoor sculptures. And if you are lucky and there is no city smog (is it possible?!) you will be able to see even the Atlantic Ocean behind the hills of Santa Monika!
After visiting the Getty Center we decided to have a look at my next “outside the city” favourite on Google Maps – the Griffith Observatory! This place is located above Los Feliz on the southern slope of Mt. Hollywood and is famous with its best views of Los Angeles and has been featured in many Hollywood movies. Even though you can find here some fascinating exhibits inside the Observatory (among which Tesla’s coil, Samuel Oschin’s Planetarium, Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, Zeiss Telescope, Gottlieb Transit Corridor, etc.) people mostly come here to make some photos with the famous HOLLYWOOD Sig in the background. A short time ago the sign has celebrated the 90th anniversary and is still the best-known symbol of Hollywood.
And yes, the views from Griffith Observatory are even better as those from the Getty Center! A perfect view over the Smog-ing Angels of Los Angeles …
Enjoy the day!