Sunday, November 20, 2011

Griffith Park Observatory

On Sunday last week, Cindy and I went to Church.In the afternoon, we went to the Griffith Park Observatory. It was on my list of notable places in LA that I should visit and hadn't. It is a very well known landmark and has been in several movies, especially a James Dean movie. When reading about it, parking was said to be very limited. So we decided to take one of the hiking trails up and hike there. This is what the lower part of the park looks like. Very shady, green and lots of trees. Quite pleasant. The trail was very definate, but there wasn't any signs and so we asked someone to make sure we were on our way to the Observatory. The lady said, yes you CAN get there this way, but it's far and very steep. Cindy and I looked at each other. Like how far? Cindy asked. The lady said a couple of miles. Ah, we thought, no problemo.

After the first short bit of trail in the trees, it opens up to a more natural vegetation in the area. It was a cool day, in the afternoon, so we were good. This is what it looks like from our approach. It WAS steep, but within our capabilities. I stopped a few times to catch my breath. There were amazing views as we went. It was a clear day, no smog and you could see clear to the ocean in one direction and to the San Gabriel mountains and Palm Springs to the other.

The Hollywood sign was not as close as it looks. I was using a bit of my zoom lens. But we were in the vicinity.

Almost to the top!

The San Gabriels with a dusting of snow.

Once there, you could climb up to several different levels. This is the roof.

There is the ocean, past downtown.

Looking South and slightly east.

It was free to go inside and there were several exhibits. The only thing you have to pay for is if you go to one of the planetarium shows.

There were some beautiful murals and ceiling paintings.

A memorial to James Dean.

View across the front lawn.

This guy was just a photo op waiting to happen. He and his buddies got a laugh out of my wanting to take his picture.

The trail starting back down.

This was our dinner stop for the night. I had been wanting to try one of the many food trucks we saw.

The front of the planetarium. It was a fun afternoon!

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