Heading down the Pacific Highway Coast towards our destination of San Diego we decided to stop off in Los Angeles for a night. Whilst this city has never really appealed to us we thought it would be a shame to drive straight through. Just before reaching LA we passed through Malibu – the affluent beach city which is home to many Hollywood stars and other people involved in the entertainment industry. Perhaps in our minds we had ‘bigged’ it up to be somewhere really special but we honestly found it really disappointing and seemed to lack charisma and atmosphere. There are some stunning big houses around and nice beachfront properties and the area does have lovely beaches but the Highway runs straight through the centre of it!!! We didn’t stop here for long and decided to head down towards Venice Beach to see what attractions it had to offer.
At Venice Beach we eventually found a free parking spot about 5 minute walk from the promenade (after a bit of a ticking off from the police about not waiting our turn at the lights!! Luckily enough he let us off but he said we could have got a $500 ticket!!).
We wandered down onto the boardwalk and soon found ourselves amongst a crowd of tourists, locals, buskers and lots of people trying to sell you anything from cds, dvds, and jewellery to ‘people’ offering you a medical examination to see if you qualified for the ‘medical marijuana card’ . There were certainly a variety of people and characters down on the promenade and sadly was somewhere we wouldnt have felt comfortable walking at nighttime (and thats saying something, bearing in mind that we have wandered through the back streets and lanes of less developed countries where English is not widely spoken!).
We stopped off to view the famous muscle beach gym and took a few photgraphs and then bought some ice creams and wandered a bit more taking in the atmosphere and scenery. The saddest thing was the sight of all the homeless people sleeping or sitting on the grass – they weren’t bothering anyone – it just seemed to be a place for them to congregate and chat and sleep.