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First week of our excursion in the USA - Los Angeles

After a long, long time of preparation, we finally left for the USA on the 1th of March. We left Ljubljana in the early morning hours and so our journey began. First stop: Trieste (Ronchi del legionari), Second: Munich, Third: Washington Fourth: Los Angeles. After 24 hours of flying, trying to fix booking errors, running through Washington airport to catch our flight to L.A., sickness etc. we finally arrived to our first destination. Tired but happy we found our van and our motel and fell fast asleep.

For our first day in L.A.  – the eintertainment capital of the world, we chose to see a couple of tourist attractions . Hollywood sign, Walk of fame – it honors more than 2000 celebrities with stars embedded in the sidewalk, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and of course we had to check out the Apple store and ask about the Ipad2. We were enjoying nice, warm weather and the unique energy and vibe of the city. In the afternoon we were trying to cope with jetlag and some of us managed quite well, but sooner rather than later we had to admit defeat. (Time difference between Ljubljana and Los Angeles is 9 hours).

Second day we took a drive to the Universal Studios and experienced what term »rush hour« means firsthand. We all loved Universal studios tour, where we saw scenes from different famous movies – Jaws, War of the worlds, Tokyo drift and of course Wisteria lane built especially for Desperate housewives. We checked out the Animal actors show, Waterworld and Special effects stage, where we learned about CGI, stop motion capture and 3-D technology. After a long day of fun, we were ready to finish our day in style – we went to see NHL game between L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, and cheer for the only Slovenian in NHL – Anže Kopitar. We were very impressed by the magnificent multi-purpose sports arena Staples Center  -  home of L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Kings and L.A. Sparks. We were spotted soon after entering the arena, because of our big banners and Slovenian flag. What really surprised us, was how peaceful and quiet the fans were, compared to Slovenian audience at such events. Kings won 1:0 (Kopitar had an assist) and we proudly headed back to our motel.

Next day we headed to Venice beach and later followed the first official educational part of our trip. We went to University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and met up with mr. Damian Posedel  - research associate at UCLA Department of Human Genetics. We listened to an interesting lecture about his work and the work of his laboratory, he also told us some information about how life led him from Slovenia to the United States. After the lecture, we went for a walk around the beautiful UCLA campus which impressed us with its size, structure and infrastrucure intended for its students.

The day that followed we went to Long Beach where Queen Mary - a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic Ocean - is anchored. It was ment for weekly express service between Southampton and New York City, but with outbreak of World War II it was converted into a troopship and ferried soldiers for the duration of the war. Queen Mary was officially retired from service in 1967 - much of her machinery including her propellers and boilers were removed, and the ship now serves as a tourist attraction featuring restaurants, a museum, and hotel. Later on we checked out one of the prestigious neighborhoods in Long beach – houses worth millions of dollars; blinded by wealth we headed to Downtown L.A. It's cultural and social variety surprised us, as well as the height of buildings which are rising high into the sky.

We used our fifth and as well last day in L.A. for a little cultural education, and went to Getty center founded by J. Paul Getty. It is known for its architecture, beautiful gardens (designed by an artist Riobert Irwin), and views overlooking Los Angeles. After satisfying our cultural and culinary needs, we visited the second biggest urban park in the USA – the Griffith park. It's size is five times the size of New York's Central park. It covers 4,310 acres (1,740 ha) of land and includes Greek Theatre,  Griffith Observatory and planetarium , Hollywood Sign ,  L. A. Zoo etc. We focused our attention to Griffith observatory - a popular tourist attraction with an extensive array of space- and science-related displays. In the lobby, there is a  Foucault pendulum , which was designed to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth, one wall inside the building is covered with the largest astronomically accurate image ever constructed called "The Big Picture" and we also saw the Tesla Cole. The main purpose of the facility was never research, but bringing astronomy closer to general public. In the evening hours we went to Brennan's to meet with Clair- Damjan's relative who is a lead singer of a jazz group »Nostalic trio« link! We listened to their concert and after followed a drive to the next motel on our way to the windy city - San Francisco.

That summes a bit about our first week in the USA.

You can also see our photo streem on Flicker.

© november 2010, Društvo študentov računalništva in elektrotehnike - elektrošok, produkcija: Elektrošok | izvedba: Damjan Cvetan