Our last 2 cruise stops were in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Ted and I have spent time in San Diego before, enjoying the Gaslamp District, the zoo, Balboa Park, the Del Coronado Hotel, and touring the USS Midway, so we didn’t feel the need to take a guided tour. Instead, since we were not sailing for L.A. until late in the evening, we decided simply to spend the day strolling on our own. The weather was glorious, and the Viking Sun docked right in San Diego harbour, so we could walk directly into the terminal and then into the city – almost like being on a river cruise!
San Diego was just as lovely as I remembered: an eclectic yet pleasing mix of architecture from Victorian (Gilded Age) through Art Deco, and right up to glass and steel modern. Green parks line much of the waterfront, with shops and restaurants galore for browsing. Here are a few of our favourite pictures from our day in San Diego:
L.A. was a different story. All we’ve ever done there is go through the airport, so we were happy to take a panoramic bus tour to see the highlights.
To say everything is bigger here is almost an understatement. The freeways are bigger, and 3 stories tall in places. The skyscrapers are taller. The university campuses are huger. The sports and entertainment venues are more massive. The crowds…. well, let’s just say there are crowds! The homeless problem is bigger too; we saw tent cities along the freeway, as well as lots of trash everywhere. The city is so much richer than any we saw in South America, yet litter is at least as big a concern here as in any of those countries,
Unfortunately, it’s hard to get great pictures on a bus tour, but we made 2 stops where photos were possible. The first was on Hollywood Boulevard between Orange and Sarasota, the location of the Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theatre, and Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Did you know that prior to his Chinese Theater, there was the Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre? It still exists further down the boulevard.
Our second stop was in downtown Los Angeles, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This is my favourite Frank Gehry-designed building yet. Its satiny patina was an afterthought: it was originally glossy stainless steel, but the sun shining off its surface blinded pilots flying into LAX, and the reflected rays actually burned holes into the curtains of condos across the road!
That, sadly, is it for this trip. Tomorrow we’re on a plane from LAX back to Tucson to continue our winter travels. Thanks for following along!