17 June 2015

Exploring Griffith Park LA

iconic palm trees

I got to visit Los Angeles for the first time in April!

I spent my first couple of days at an Airbnb apartment in West Hollywood. After a night in catching up on sleep to avoid jet lag, I woke up uncharacteristically early on a Sunday morning for my guided Griffith Park hike courtesy of  top eco-tourism company Bikes & Hikes LA. I was really excited about getting some fresh air and getting some sort of exercise in after pigging out and being generally inactive in Malaysia the week before.

I decided to walk 30 minutes through Los Feliz to our meeting point near the park entrance and it was just the most BEAUTIFUL WALK.

// LOS FELIZ //

The houses! It felt so surreal. I was seeing everything that I had grown up seeing on TV/in movies.

los feliz houses

In fact I have SO MANY photos of houses that I’d seen along the way but I shan’t bore you with all of them.. Just some.. haha

tree lined street

My walk ended up taking much more than 30 minutes because I kept stopping to take in all that I was seeing. I wanted to move there right away.

beautiful trees

I LOVED these trees.. I was sweating from the heat by the time I got here so they provided some shade to cool off for a bit. I wished I lived on that street.

griffith observatory

Also spotted the Griffith Observatory on the way up, thinking, god damn I’ll have to walk up to THERE’.

Eventually I made it to the meeting point and met Erick, our guide. There were only three other people in the group that day – a couple from Australia and an English girl!

 

// GRIFFITH PARK HIKE //

bikes and hikes la

Griffith Park was dry.. ish. I mean it was quite brown rather than green. Does that sound stupid? Probably. No but I really liked it 🙂

Erick made sure everyone had water and a chance to use the toilet, and then we were off uphill. It was so hot!

griffith horseriding

We came across this bunch of cheaters on horses. HORSES! I was really sweaty (and jealous).

It was a bit hazy that day so the view wasn’t typically the best, but it still looked great to me.

griffith park view

Erick was super animated and talkative (read: engaging). I managed to actually listen to everything he was saying (this is normally a real challenge for me).

The majority of what he was sharing was about the history of Griffith Park and the SUPER INTERESTING story of Mr Griffith, its founder. He had come from Wales in the 19th century as a teenager. He also shot his wife in the eye. I’m not going to reiterate the whole story but you can find a summary here.

hollywood sign

We didn’t get as close to the Hollywood sign as I.. envisioned. Haha.

During the tour I also learnt the history of the sign.. Well I don’t know if this is popular information or not but I never knew that it had at some point been left to die and vandalised, later to be saved (rebuilt and restored) by Hugh Hefner!

top of griffith park

People in LA are always exercising or dieting, right?? This was at the top of the park. I recorded some Snapchats of people exercising in funny positions, such as something I like to call ‘the prawn’. I think it’s actually called ‘crunches’.

We also got to go inside the Griffith Observatory for a bit.

griffith observatory

It’s beautiful! I got to hold a piece of meteorite (very heavy) and use a bunch of those weighing scales where you can see how much you’d weigh on each of the planets in the solar system. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying a lot of attention so I can’t remember where I’d be lighter or heavier.

The tour/hike ended outside the observatory and we were free to get a cab home from there or walk back down with Erick to the original meeting point.

OH! We saw the tunnel where that chase scene from Back to the Future was filmed, too. Honestly it looked really unglam in real life.. and a lot shorter.

thanks erick

And this is Erick!

If you’re looking for a healthier, more active way to explore and learn about LA, definitely check out Bikes & Hikes. They also offer lots of cycling tours, bike rentals, and even self-guided tours.

 

And hey – follow me on Snapchat (SMLCRZY) 🙂

 

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