Viking includes one tour in every port and on Friday it was a bus tour of downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. Since there were only three stops, most of the pictures had to be taken through the bus window; so there may be some reflections. Our guide was a former boat captain and a bit part actor. As such, he was able to provide some insights into the film industry. Our only recent impressions of Los Angeles had been formed from flying through LAX airport and staying overnight at a nearby motel or from driving through it to visit the Reagan Library. Needless to say, none of this had given us a favorable impression. However, the last two days have convinced us that Los Angeles is worth a visit.The downtown area is filled with modern and historic buildings. The Bank of America and Wells Fargo buildings are located side by side.I was surprised to learn that this modern looking building is a high school. What looks like a ramp, is really a sculpture that looks like a figure 9 when viewed from the air.The El Capitan Theater is owned by Disney and is used to premiere their movies. Right next door is the theater where our favorite late night show is aired.We made a brief stop to check out the Beverly Hills sign. Tour buses are no longer allowed to drive through Beverly Hills.We drove by the venue for the Golden Globes this weekend. The area was filled with sound trucks. A temporary bridge had been built across the road. This temporary building had been built for a reception. There was construction activity everywhere.This is the famed Santa Monica pier. The beach is very wide here.While I love this tree, I had to choose between including a homeless man or a trash container in the picture. We saw a lot of homeless people in the parks and under the freeway bridges, but there didn’t seem to be as many homeless as in Seattle.
The US headquarters for Viking is in Los Angeles. Since this was the first time a Viking ship has been to LA, the Sun was crawling with corporate people and travel agents during our stay in port. The world cruise officially began in LA and everyone leaving there is on the ship until London. The voyage was not available in segments. We had a big party with fireworks and the CEO of Viking spoke before the sail away.The party was held on the pool deck. The CEO had a problem holding the microphone close enough to his mouth, so his daughter was trying to help him. The daughter’s dog was also present. Apparently the no dog policy on the ship does not apply to relatives of the CEO. We feel that we are now officially on a world cruise! Thanks for sailing with us!