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USA - NY to LA - 2001

We didn't take many picture of LA. You see the city mostly from a freeway since it is hard to back off to get a good view anywhere else.

When you are on an LA freeway you don't take pictures - you defend your life and limb.

This is the redesigned Persing Square right in the center where the winos used to gather. No more!


An LA freeway is a very special thing. They are often very wide - at least 4 lanes in each direction and often 6, 7 or 8 (times 2!). During much of the day traffic creeps along making it possible to read the signs. When the traffic is moving fast you have no chance because of the inconsistant way they have planned turnoffs™.

Here in Europe you leave a freeway to the right. One freeway might join another on the left but you always get off on the right. No so in LA. So you are driving along at a pretty fast rate and you know that your turnoff is coming up soon. All you can do is get in the middle lane. Then all of a sudden you see your turnoff and you have about 45 seconds to cross three lanes to the right or to the left - depending.

If you don't know exactly what you turnoff looks like you are bound to end up in the wrong place. If you have someone to navigate for you, you might find it in time but not because the signs are well designed. Get a good map.

I did get the impression that California drivers are more willing to let you change lanes and break into a queue than Swedish drivers are. A little more willing to let cars take turns at a junction for instance.

The worst part is that as a tourist there are certain sections of town where you shouldn't be driving at certain times. If you decide to just not use the freeways you may find yourself in more danger than you are cutting across traffic lanes. Besides there is a lot of creeping at rush hours on ordinary roads.

There are still winos in LA of course, but they have found other places to spend the day.

We spent part of this day at Olvera Street in the center of town which is an old commercial street selling Mexican food and all kinds of tingle-tangle.

There have always been musicians playing on the streets at Olvera Street.

When I was little they make candles by hand that smelled like a whole garden full of flowers. Awful but fascinating.

The Aztec dancers were new to me and probably not very Aztec but they look great. Wonderful tree in the background.

The oldest house in Los Angeles (ab0ve) is from the Spanish days and is on Olvera Street.
It is built around a closed Patio as houses were at that time. It's nice to sleep
out of doors in the summertime here and it was much safer with this arrangement.
This hacienda is open to visitors.

Ann and Lars take a pause.

©Ann Thulin © Lars Thulin,
©Per Thulin, ©Ingrid Hansson
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