ÉTAPE 11 : Los Angeles

Faire la côte Ouest des États-Unis sans faire une halte à Los Angeles ? Il n’en était pas question ! La deuxième plus grande ville des États-Unis après New York est pleine de richesses et de surprises qu’il fallait absolument découvrir.

Passer à Los Angeles c’est comme entrer dans les films et séries d’Hollywood. On entre dans un décor que l’on connait déjà sans jamais y avoir mis les pieds.

_DSC9583

On marche littéralement sur nos acteurs et actrices préférés sur Hollywood Boulevard avant de découvrir l’envers du décours à Universal Studios. Ce parc d’attraction aux nombreuses activités vous fait entrer dans le décor de Spider Man, des dents de la mer ou encore de King Kong. On y découvre les astuces des réalisateurs, les effets spéciaux de façon ludique et amusante dans un petit train.

 

À Los Angeles, les personnages ne s’arrêtent pas à ceux des films…  C’est dans les rues que vous trouverait aussi des personnages à fort caractères. C’est ainsi que vous pouvez voir Jésus à Santa Monica ou Spider Man et Minnie sur Hollywood boulevard !

 

Cependant si vous voulez avoir la chance d’observer une vraie star rendez-vous à Beverly Hills et les quartiers chics de la ville (Rodeo Drive, Bel air…). Vous aurez cependant plus de chance de croiser la nounou, le coach sportif ou le dog sitter que la star elle même !

IMG_6223

_DSC9616

Votre quête vers Hollywood ne s’arrête pas là ! Allez maintenant observer les fameuses lettres d’Hollywood depuis l’observatoire de Griffith. Un moment unique à faire de préférence au coucher du soleil pour ensuite observer la vue panoramique de Los Angeles de nuit. Un spectacle d’une des plus beaux films.

_DSC0095

_DSC0099

 

Los Angeles c’est aussi l’art, l’esprit cool, la “L.A vibes” comme les habitants l’appelle. Un des endroits les plus représentatif est Venice beach. Entre fumeur de marijuana, skateur et surfeur, cette rue près de la plage est un vrai melting pot de chill.

_DSC9541

_DSC9526

En continuant le long de Venice beach vous arriverez au quartier de Santa Monica symbolisant la fin de la route 66.

_DSC0007

 

Los Angeles c’est se plonger dans l'”Amercian dream” comme l’on imagine à travers les nombreuses séries et films de la côte. Los Angeles c’est venir rêver …

_DSC9549

Advertisements

ÉTAPE 10 : Grand Canyon et ville fantôme

Que serait un voyage sur la côte Ouest des États-Unis sans la visite du fameux Grand Canyon ?

Avant d’arriver à ce lieu classé au patrimoine mondial de l’humanité et de l’UNESCO, nous avons traversé des “villes fantômes”. Principalement en Arizona ou en Californie, ces villes désertées sont maintenant une attraction pour les touristes avides d’histoire. Parmi ces lieux quasi désert, certaines villes sont complètements abandonnées tandis que d’autres survivent grâce au tourisme.

_DSC9496

Pour notre part, nous sommes allés à “Calico”, une “ghost city” californienne très cliché, où l’on peut récolter son or (vestige des nombreuses mines de l’époque), se balader entre les anciennes échoppes, les anciennes écoles… À l’abandon au milieu du désert, nous nous sommes retrouvés en pleine scène de Western avec des portes battantes pour rentrer dans les vieux saloons. La seule contrainte pour trouver ces villes fantômes est de les trouver, ne comptez pas sur votre GPS qui sera aussi perdu que vous !

_DSC9500

Nous nous sommes donc ensuite dirigés vers le Grand Canyon constitué de nombreuses gorges creusés par le Colorado. Le Grand Canyon, qui aurait commencé à être creusé il y a 65 millions d’années de cela, accueille aujourd’hui plusieurs de millions de touristes par an. Certes le paysage y est splendide et spectaculaire (la faune y est aussi étrangement dense) cependant le nombre de touristes et l’imaginaire inscrit en nous à propos de ce lieu si connu nous a un peu déçu. Souvent moins populaires, d’autres canyons de la région n’ont rien à envier à leur grand frère. Le Grand Canyon : une étape incontournable dans ce genre de voyage mais qui ne mérite pas de s’y attarder trop longtemps.

_DSC9407

C’en était fini des paysages somptueux de la côte américaine, il était temps pour nous de rentrer en ville dans notre prochaine destination : ÉTAPE 11 : Los Angeles

Il va de soi que nous ne pouvions pas ne pas emprunter la plus que connue route 66 et s’arrêter dans des stations services remplis de motards !

_DSC9477

_DSC9485

STOP 2: Yosemite

After visiting the beautiful city of San Francisco (go check: STOP 1: San Francisco ) and did about 300km of driving, my family and I arrived in the National Park of Yosemite. We spent two amazing days there, full of nature and gorgeous landscape.

We choose to stay outside of the Yosemite park in a small hotel, but you can definitely camp in defined areas inside the National Park (be aware of bears though). We also visited the park during two days but because it’s huge you can definitely spend a lot more time there. The other important (and practical) point about Yosemite is that you should have a car to travel around it. When you are inside the Valley it’s better to use the shuttle bus, but outside of the valley, you can’t move without a car.

The thing that I was surprised about Yosemite was the changing landscape and vegetation depending on different locations. You can go from waterfall and lakes to rocky and dry area. It’s absolutely stunning! The first vista point we stopped to see was the famous “tunnel view”  (if you enter by the South entrance). It was the first impression we had on Yosemite after seeing a lof of pins. You can see the top of the valley of Yosemite. It can’t be described. You have huge mountains all around you and the valley at the bottom. A great entrance into this beautiful park.

_dsc8282

FullSizeRender.jpgOur next stop was the Yosemite’s valley where we spent the day. From the valley there is a lot of hiking and trail starts to see more beautiful places. As mentioned before you can go to one point to another through the shuttle bus. We did some small and easy trails that the staff proposed us. It was really pleasant and good to be in the nature. We saw two waterfalls (which were almost dried because it was the summer) but still good. The place wasn’t crowded so you can really enjoy your time.
_dsc8324

The most beautiful part in my opinion was the valley view. There was a great stretch of grass, mountains all around it and beautiful lakes crossing it. A real magic place! We picnicked there and it was the ideal spot.

To end our day, after visiting other spot like the mirror lake, we decided to go see the sunset at the Glacier point. The view was again really beautiful but the sunset wasn’t amazing. This is what’s happening with nature, we can’t control it!

_dsc8354

For our last day in Yosemite we mooved from the valley to see another face of Yosemite. We stopped a lot on our road to see several vista points but two of them were really beautiful. The first one was the Olmsted Point. This place was out of the wolrd. After walking for about 10 minutes you are the master of the world, on the top of it. Seeing a rocky Yosemite, an endless Yosemite.

_dsc8400

The other point we loved was the Tenaya lake. To be honest I think it’s one of the most beautiful water I never saw in my life. The mountain and trees around it made the lake even more beautiful. Even if the water is amazing is extremely freezing (even in summer) so if you want to swimm in: be brave!

_dsc8411

After seing these different spots and others (such as the meadows) around Yosemite we drove until our next destination: STOP 3: Lakes discovered along the road trip

Don’t hesitate to follow, share, like, comment  to know what’s going to be the next step of our road trip!

STOP 1: San Francisco

Here I am! Back with some of my new adventures. I’ve been doing a road trip around the West Coast of the US with my family. I saw so many beautiful landscapes, had so much fun so I decided to share it through my blog (again).

After a (very) long trip, we arrived in the Japan Town of San Francisco, where we stayed. San Francisco offered to us in three days a really great overview of what we expected. Downtown (called Union Square) was made of big buildings, the American flag waving in the sky, the stairs on the walls of buildings, the lighting, the fireman’s cars, the tramway crossing the street, the up and down streets… Basically, an animated city.

What I DIDN’T LIKE in San Francisco? I’m going to start by what I’ve been frustrated when I was in San Francisco. The first thing is the famous tramway. To take it you have to make hours of queue, which is not worth it. The second point when I was frustrated (but it was our fault) is that we missed the view of the Coit tower. It was actually closed so we couldn’t see SF from above (end at 5:30 pm). Finally, in SF you have drugged people and homeless people. It’s not something that is bad, it’s life but I just wanted to tell that the number is way more important than in France for example, so it’s kind of shocking.

What I LOVED in San Francisco? The main atmosphere given by SF is mainly due to its culture. You can see that it’s a city with history, full of art, music… At almost every corner streets you can see street art, but not like in the subway in Paris. It’s a real art ! It’s mostly represented in the area of Haight-Ashbury, which is the hippie corner. Besides, the street art there is guitar shops, book shop, bio shop, hippie shop, old costumes shop, every kind of shop.

Near this beautiful place, the other thing to see are the painted ladies which are _dsc8018beautiful,big and colorful houses. The typical architecture, called Victorian style, is a characteristic of San Francisco. To end this day, we decided to rent a bicycle in the Golden Gate park, enjoying the nature to go to the beach (which was extremely cold).

The next day, we explored more San Francisco by seeing the Lombard street which is the most crooked street in the world. It was cool to see it once in our life, but not as spectacular as we imagined. (Plus there is a lot of tourists). We continued our trip in SF with Chinatown that I particularly liked (not like my parents). I found the Chinese lanterns above the streets really pretty and the Chinese street art gave an amazing atmosphere to the place. We were not courageous enough to try one of the many restaurants there but we did buy some useless stuff.

_dsc8129

img_5847

Then we did THE thing to do in San Francisco: go on the Golden bridge. I was so excited to see it for real during a bus tour. Because SF is most of the time in the fog we were lucky enough to see the_dsc8220 entire  bridge! If you go on the bridge you should know that it’s extremely windy and cold. We enjoyed the rest of our day on the Pier 39, the most famous of SF, eating strawberry dipped in chocolate and tacos, watching the sea lions and enjoying the place.

For our last day in the foggy city of San Francisco, we decided to do something more cultural so we went on Alcatraz island where one of the most famous prisons was. I wasn’t expected a lot from this visit (that you have to book a long time before) but I was really surprised. Being in a prison for real is a particular feeling that it’s weird but an incredible experience. The thing that did make the visit really good was the free audio guide. The story of Alcatraz was explained by ex-prisoners and ex-prison guards. They told us the story of Alcatraz through their experience. A more personal approach which gave a unique and timeless moment.

_dsc8258

After the visit of the prison, we took the car and drove to go to our next destination: STOP 2: Yosemite

Don’t hesitate to follow me to know what’s going to be the next step of our road trip!