Finally made it to Las Vegas again (last time we only stayed here to sleep and headed on to the Grand Canyon). After an amazing view into the Canyon that we enjoyed yesterday, we have now reached our fnal destination for the "West-Coast-Tour". I still haven't written much about Hollywood because there is just soooo much to tell and so little time for us here. The most impressive moments for me there were certainly the tours through the Studios (Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony/Columbia Pictures). All of the tours were a little different. Universal has a huge theme park attached where we actually had quite a bit of fun with the roller coaster rides and shows like Waterworld and the special effects show. At Warner Bros. and Paramount you are driven around the studio in a little bus/golf cart thingy and get to stop at certain points of interest. The cool thing about that is that you're right in the middle of a working studio and can simply tell the guide what is most interesting for you while they will try to squeeze that in for you then. At Sony you walk the studio lot. Our guide was an associate producer for Sony and gave us more insight on the actual "background logistics" of what's going on when making a movie or a TV show. Everything was pretty impressive, though. One of my wow-moments was at the Bronson Gate (Paramount) that Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard enters to see Mr. DeMille (click). Another was at the Sony/Columbia Pictures Studio where we got to stand on the very stage where John Williams recoded the music to Star Wars and where Barbara records her vocals (hence it's actually even called the Barbara Streisand Stage). It's amazing how, out of nothing, a city like L.A. was built around the neighbourhood of Hollywood, where dreams of fortune and fame are born and shattered and have been for the past one hundred years. Musicians, directors, actors and writers all seem to be attracted by that place like moths are by the light; and not to forget those film nerds from all around the world who want to stroll along the Walk of Fame looking out for somebody they admire among those more than 2200 stars on the ground. Enough of that, though :-).... for now at least.
On our last L.A. day we decided to do a whale watching tour. Unfortunately we only saw a few dolphins and sea lions, though. It was quite a bit of fun nonetheless, even though I got a big fat sunburn riiiight on my face. I practically look like an orange. While driving towards Las Vegas we decided that we'd have enough time to drive up to the Grand Canyon and enjoy the marvelous view on millions of years of geological history.
Bar at the Route 66
Today we took the historic Route 66 on the back to Vegas and stopped at a really cute bar in the middle of nowhere, played a bit of pool and visited the Hoover Dam. Now we're in Vegas again - and I've got to go because it's getting dark and we're just waiting for the lights to come on ;-) Yay...!