twisting through the hills off sunset boulevard
Day 92 The Getty, a drive on the Hills, Venice side streets
The art inside
has no hope of competing with the building and the views outside. That's saying something 'cause there's Monet's
, Vincent Van Gogh's
, and a gorgeous parade of flower-crowned Alma Tadema ladies.
The curvy, smooth marble is blinding in the LA sunlight. It invites you to parade around the promontories and the gardens.
A view of downtown LA skyscrapers and the freeway looks positively
from the uppermost North balcony of this gorgeous pile of travertine.
One of the many Hispanic gardeners passes us on the steps. I want to shake his hand and congratulate him on his contribution to the most insane succulent and cacti game I've ever seen.
In the photography gallery, we stand in front of Josef Koudelka's large-scale, panoramic images of countries formerly known as Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic, gypsies, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. He makes Israel, Palestine and Jordan look intimidating and anxious. It's photos like these that make me realise why people don't just waltz into these countries for a casual vacation. Which is crazy because that's
. It makes me feel adventurous but also foolishly ignorant. Like the British tourists in
who asked another British guy what a "hamam" was.
We indulge in some classic American cuisine.
. Primarily to do a compare/contrast with our In N Out fine dining yesterday. The nearest one is in Westwood, near UCLA and when we get there I gawp at the town centre. Why does everything in LA look like a studio backlot version of a model town?
Rob rates the Five Guys burger over Shake Shack and In N Out. I'm in the Shake Shack navy through and through. Because we haven't punished ourselves enough with USDA-grade beef, free peanuts, and endless refills of a variety of sugar water drinks, we're in
next door. It sells more sugar water in bottles i.e.
different flavours of taffy, and candy from around the world. There's a pack of Tim Tams for US$11. I'm not homesick enough to pay that much Tim Tams. But we spend a buck on four flavours of taffy; maple bacon, cupcake, smore, and caramel popcorn.
Before going home, we go on a cruise. I'm getting very frustrated because there's hills all around us but no sign of the Hollywood sign. This drive doesn't get us any closer. We take a steep, cracked road uphill off Sunset Boulevard and battle through the twisty, narrow roads. The flash houses block the multi-million dollar views. We get teased with it when there's a gap in construction once in a while, but not very often. Rob eyeballs every passing pedestrian just to check they're not famous. We talk about how Rob bought one of these houses in Grand Theft Auto V.
When we finally untangle ourselves from freeway traffic, the sun is setting along Venice Beach. It floods the side streets with amber fog. It's so laidback and chilled by the sea compared to our day inland.