Los Angeles comes as a breath of fresh air after Vegas. Which is odd, given the yellow smog layer visible over much of the city from the Hollywood Hills. However it's generally pretty clean, the plants are real (all grass in Vegas seemed to be of the kind you get on a grocer's Market stall) and the tourists are not gibbering, whooping, money frittering baboons.
On arrival I took a stroll along Hollywood Boulevard, counting the 'stars' with stars in the pavement. Lots. Then to Grauman's Chinese theatre and a while mooching around the various hand and footprints. Darth Vader has rather small feet you know.
I fancied a longer trek, so set off down Vine Street for Hollywood Forever Cemetary, crossing Sunset Bvd and taking Santa Monica Bvd. I found the graves of Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny etc), Jayne Mansfield, and Cecil B DeMille, all by accident.
Today I set off early for a hike in the Hollywood Hills, passing some rather extravagant houses behind tall gates. Thankfully the Hollywood sign was just where I expected it to be, and I got a great view. Just around the corner was the Griffith Park Obsevatory. Sadly shut (it is a Monday, and no-one does culture or education on Mondays) I still got some great views over the city and was terrified to find a bust of James Dean with hollowed-out eyes commemorating his celestial patter in Rebel Without A Cause.
So, on to somewhere I knew would be open... Universal Studios. The tour was pretty good, circling the back lots and taking in the City Hall used in Back to the Future (now minus clockface). There were a few showpieces thrown in along the way... an OK flash-flood in a Mexican village, a terrible The Mummy-inspired tunnel, the excellent Jaws and Subway Earthquake and the frankly awesome King Kong 3D which surrounded the vehicle with imagery on all sides, tossed it about and sprayed fake dinosaur saliva all over us. The rest of the rides were pretty good too, the Simpsons and Jurassic Park being the best. The Waterworld show was extremely cheesy, but far far more entertaining than the film ever managed to be.
Tomorrow I'm cruising Beverly Hills, Sunset Bvd and working out at Venice Beach...