This morning we took some time "sleeping in", as Dave would say. It wasn't until
9:30 AM we cleared our room, loaded the cars, and paid the bill. Having experienced
Hollywood and the upscale neighborhoods the day before, we still had only seen a fraction
of the sights in the Los Angeles area. We might as well move up the coast because it was
there most of the places of interest were situated. As we got ready to leave the
"California or Bust!" sign was finally taken down. Superstition or not, why
California has close ties with Mexico and especially one section of LA is renowned for its
Hispanic roots. That morning we left the cars in a parking building and went to Olvera
Street on foot. On the way we saw the courthouse made famous by the O.J. Simpson trial,
which had come to an end only a few months before.
Olvera Street was packed with vendors trying to sell all kinds of more or less exotic
goods while people, mostly tourists by the looks of them, swarmed among the shops and
restaurants. After ample browsing we settled down on the porch of a Mexican restaurant.
The chaotic buzzing of the street could easily be observed from our table. Naturally we
ordered Mexican food. Dave and Manuel shared a carafe of wine while Mark and Niels stuck
to sodas. Pending the arrival of the food the spare time was used to write yet more
Not far from Olvera Street was the Asian part of LA. However, this neighborhood wasn't
nearly as lively as the one we'd just visited so we didn't hang around for long. Generally
the shops were the kind that specialize in herbs and alternative medicine; the anonymous
windows didn't quite capture our interest and as we walked back to the cars we discussed
what to do next.
The choice fell upon the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu. Once a private collection, the
artworks from Classic times are now displayed so everybody can appreciate the grandeur of
bygone eras. We were lucky to enter the grounds because the museum closed early on
Fridays. In fact we were the last two cars to enter the compound that day. The museum
itself was built in Greco-Roman style with marble pillars and shallow ponds that reflected
the sunlight. We spent close to two hours admiring the exhibits and we finally left the
place with an overload of our aesthetic senses.
According to the schedule we were supposed to reach Santa Barbara but Thousands Oaks, some
20 miles up the coast from Malibu, had to do. We found a motel in the right price class
and booked a room. The place had a swimming pool, not an uncommon feature among America's
motels. Some of us had a swim that evening.
See more photos from May 24.
Area map of Los Angeles (>195 Kb).
Go to the next page in the Diary (May 25).