I’ve now had the chance to do some of the blog posts on my Contiki tour. The tour itself was great. We covered a lot of ground, saw some incredible sights and I met some pretty good people along the way too. It was pretty sad to say bye to all the new friends that I made but luckily the majority are actually Australian and we have said that we will have to have a reunion sometime in the near future. Enjoy!
The tour started this morning and the day was going to be spent exploring the Los Angeles area. The Contiki tour that I did was called the ‘Wild Western’ which covers the west coast of the United States for 14 days. There were 54 of us on the coach however, this is made up of 3 different tours (some of the tours just finish at certain points but mine was the entire tour). The majority of the people were Australian, there were a few Brits, a few Irish, a couple South Africans and an American. Luckily myself and Steph (the girl I met at the airport) didn’t have to check out of our hotel room unlike some of the others on our tour and instead we just met everyone in the lobby. At 8am we all piled onto the bus to spend the day exploring LA, a city with a population of 18 million. It’s pretty hard to comprehend. Our first stop was Hollywood and luckily it was a lot cooler today. The benefit of going earlier was that it was less crowded too. Again we walked the Walk of Fame and this time managed to get a few photos with some of the stars. Apparently there are 5 different categories you can get a star for and only 1 person has ever received a star for each category. You have to be nominated and then a board choses who gets the star and at the moment there are a couple of thousand. To be honest I had no idea there were that many. There are certainly many different characters wandering around and I could have just spent the majority of my time people watching. Many people were dressed in costume and some were amazing and others not so. We then quickly looked at a couple of shops that we didn’t manage to get to see the day before but I was very disciplined and didn’t buy anything. Man that was a struggle! It was then time to get back onto the bus and head to Santa Monica, passing Beverly Hills along the way. This is going to sound stupid, but Beverly Hills isn’t actually hilly :p Fun fact for you! The average house price in Beverly Hills is 12 million apparently and about 4 million gets you the bottom of the range. We also went past Rodeo Drive but didn’t stop or go down it as the coach couldn’t exactly fit.
It took about 30 minute to drive to Santa Monica. We had a couple hours here and grabbed lunch. There was a cute open air mall running parallel to the beach which had quite a few nice shops, restaurants and buskers. Once lunch was done we headed to the ‘beachfront’, walking along the walkway looking at the pier. The pier and beach is actually quite a bit below the walkway and there is so much sand between the walkway and the beach unlike ours at home. We walked down to the sand but didn’t go further as we didn’t have time and it was so hot. It was all you expect with the little road next to the sand with people rollerblading, biking and walking. Then it was onto Venice Beach. This was about 30 minutes away as well. Unfortunately due to wildfires in the hills of LA the visibility was pretty bad but it was incredible to see. There were so many different characters and again people watching was great. Because of the olympics there was a stage with Hailee Steinfeld singing and other booths. It is like one big pathway with shops/stalls on one side and the beach or gym equipment on the other. We walked around for a couple of hours checking out shops, muscle beach (Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out here back in the day) and the skate park. From here we went back to the hotel and then out to dinner with the group. The day was done. It was really nice seeing LA but to be honest it was quite dirty and I probably wouldn’t rush back anytime soon.
San Diego you’re next…