Western USA Holiday
First Topo pictures
Paris Trip 2003
Paris Trip 2004
Topo II pictures
Winter in Gouda
Second Topo II pictures
Spring in Holland
Summer in Holland
Janse Bagge Bend
Western USA Holiday
From November 23th till December 6th I had a holiday in the west of
the USA: The Western Highlights. Starting in San Francisco, I visited
Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon
National Park, the Grand Canyon and Los Angeles. The tempatures ranged
from a winter-jacket-cold -8 °C in Bryce Canyon to a
short-trousers-warm 20 °C in Los Angeles.
Day 2 - Friday, November 24th
San FranciscoThe moring of the second day was spend with a bus tour of San Francisco. We road through the streets of San Fransisco, saw the City Hall, the Victorian Houses and "Postcard Row". From the heighest point in San Francisco, the hill "Twin Peaks", we had a wonderfull view of the City, the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.
In the afternoon, we took a San Francisco Bay Tour. It took us to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Not to be missed (because they are so noisy) are the California sea lions at the pier.
And finally, If one is in San Francisco one must see the Cable Cars.
Day 3 - Saturday, November 25th
San Francisco - Yosemite National Park - FresnoThe next day we left San Francisco and drove trough the central valley of California to Yosemite National Park. There we saw the Bridalveil Fall (dscf3166.jpg), El Capitan (dscf3168.jpg) and the Yosemite Falls (dscf3185.jpg and dscf3192.jpg). When we left for Frenso we had some great views of the whole of Yosemite Valley.
Day 4 - Sunday, November 26th
Fresno - Calico - Las VegasOn Sunday we left for Las Vegas, with halfway a stop at the ghost-town Calico in the Nevada dessert for lunch and sight-seeing. There were quite a lot of people there for a gost-town...
In the evening, after arriving in the Cirus Circus casino in Las Vegas were we stayed just before dusk, we had a tour of the casino's at the Las Vegas Strip. The first casino we went to was the beautifull Venetian.
Next stop was the vulcano at the Mirage casino.
Via the Forum Shops shopping mall and Ceasars, which unfortunatly was being re-decorated, we went to see the water-ballet in front of the Bellagio.
From the other side of the water-ballet we had a great view of the Paris casino with its Eiffel Tower.
After the Bellagio we took the bus to Old Las Vegas, to the origional casino's, with the famous Cowboy.
They put a big roof over the street with a gigantic screen and matching sound system, and called it the "Fremont Street Experience". I must say that the show was disapointing. They did not use to length of the screen to its full potential, but instead repeated small sections. (I understand that there are better shows on the screen.) The best bit was actualy the screen introducing itself with a women's voice.
Day 5 - Monday, November 27th
Las VegasThe next day we were free to do what we liked. I did some shopping and sight-seeing of the other casino's: Treasure Island (which was being cleaned), New York NewYork and the Luxor (the big black piramid, which was boring).
I did not gamble, altough I said before that I would. I just didn't seem appealing to me. I would have liked to have seen Death Valley, but apperently I was the only one.
Day 6 - Tuesday, November 28th
Las Vegas - Zion National Park - Bryce Canyon National ParkThe first part of today's trip was leaving Las Vegas in the Nevada desert and climbing to the Colorado Plateau.
Our first stop of the day was Zion National Park where it had snowed, which resulted in stunning pictures. It also made very clear why Checker Board Mounten is called that way.
On our way to Bryce Canyon National Park we had a heavy snow shower, which sevearly limited the view and the speed at which the bus could drive. The bad wheater made seeing the canyon imposible, but we had seen already some of the red rocks on the way to the canyon. While leaving the park a group of dear crossed the road.
Fortunatly our hotel, Ruby's Inn, was just outside the park and had a warm lobby. It was only half past five, but already it was -3 °C outside.
Day 7 - Wednesday, November 29th
Bryce Canyon National Park - Lake Powell - Grand Canyon National Park - FlagstaffWaking up in Bryce Canyon it was cold: -8 °C. We had some final views on the red stone of Bryce Canyon Naional Park.
First stop was for a view of Lake Powell and the canyon behind the dam.
Next stop was the Grand Canyon, and boy it's big. The only way to appreciate how big it is, is with a helicopter flight through the canyon, which I took. From the front seat of the helicopter I had a wonderful view of the Grand Canyon.
After landing we went back to Grand Canyon Village at the edge of the canyon. Most people didn't stay outside for long because it was still very cold, but I took a 45 minutes walk around the edge of the canyon.
Day 8 - Thursday, November 30th
Flagstaff - Sedona - LaughlinTime to had back to the coast, but first we visited Montezuma Castle, which is a prehistoric cliff dwelling in de Verde Valley.
Montezuma Castle was also visited by school children in a typical american yellow schoolbus.
Lunch break was in Sedona, which is surrounded by Red Rock formations. Sedona is a village of artists and the "mekka" of the New Age movement.
On our way to Laughlin we left the I40 Interstate and followed a serviving part of Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman.
Day 9 - Friday, December 1st
Laughlin - Los AngelesLeaving Laughlin for Los Angeles there not mutch to see. We went straight to Los Angeles only stopping for lunch, because we wanted to see as much as possible of Los Angeles before sunset.
First stop in Los Angeles was the origional mexican setlement "Olvera Street".
Next stop was the "Walt Disney Concert Hall" where we klimned the stairs to the roof terras.
We also visited Hollywood with the Chinese Theature, where the movie premiers always are.
Day 10 - Saturday, December 2nd
Los AngelesThe next day we where free to do explore Los Angeles. Most people went to the "Universal Studios" amusement park, but I took the public transport to Santa Monica. I visited the Santa Monica Pier and the beach, and shopping at the 3rd Street Promenade (and finally I foujnd two bigger book shops).
Day 11 - Sunday, December 3rd
Los Angeles - Malibu - Santa Barbara - Santa MariaFrom Los Angeles we took the Pasific Coast Highway from Santa Monica, via Malibu, to Santa Barbara. But the first stop, still in Los Angeles, was Venice Beach.
In Santa Barbara we visited the Court House, which is a beautifull spanish building. From the tower we had a great view of the red tile roofs of Santa Barbara.
Next we went to the Santa Barbara Pier for lunch, where I finally saw some Pelicans.
Before going to the hotel in Santa Maria we went to the danish village Solvang. I had a nice icecream in the park while waiting for sunset.
Day 12 - Monday, December 4th
Santa Maria - Carmel/Monterey - San FranciscoLast day going back to San Francisco. We stopped in Carmel-by-the-sea for lunch and a final view of the sea in Monterey.
The last evening in San Francisco I took a walkt through San Francisco and climbed Telegraph Hill for a last view of the Golden Gate Bridge.