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Los Angeles

On Saturday, June 17, me and Ivo flew through Chicago to Los Angeles to spend a couple of amazing days with my Fulbright mate Jirka Harajda and his wife Denisa and a little gorgeous daughter Adelka. They gave us such a generous and warm hospitality that we felt at home immediately. They drove us through Los Angeles and surrounding and we did see a lot! On Wednesday, June 21, we headed for San Francisco where we spent two nights. At that time we took a comfortable train AMTRAK and after eleven hours of watching the beautiful coastline of California, we reached San Francisco. It was our last American adventure.

I agree with this statement: If California is like the United States only more so, then surely Los Angeles is like California only more so. The images most people have when they think of California best fit Los Angeles and surrounding area. The Los Angeles area has many beaches with surfers, volleyball players, and people getting tan. L. A. is also the center of the movie industry and home to many movie stars. Los Angeles has money and glamour!

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June 17, 2006: Ivo inside Chicago airport.

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June 17, 2006: The plane we took.

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June 17, 2006: Overflying The Grand Canyon. The canyon is 277 miles long and about 1 mile deep. Found in the US of Arizona.

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June 17, 2006: Approaching L. A.

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June 17, 2006: Welcome to California! First shot of Los Angeles from Jirka's car.

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June 17, 2006: Los Angeles is also the center of the movie industof ry and, of course, home to many movie stars. You can even take "Movie star home tour." This is to be Paris Hilton' s mansion.

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June 17, 2006: And this one Paul Newman's.

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June 17, 2006: Beverly Hills

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June 17, 2006: Soon we got thirsty, so Jirka ordered Jumba-Juice. So yummy ...

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June 17, 2006: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, shopping area.

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June 18, 2006: Sunday' s program was devoted to Hollywood.

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June 18, 2006: Mann's Chinese Theater - one of two great ones in Hollywood.

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June 18, 2006: This theater is famos for its cement cortyard with footprints and handprints of stars who were in movies the theater showed.

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June 18, 2006: Who wouldn' t know him? :-))

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June 18, 2006: Holywood Walk of Fame.

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June 18, 2006: Even if you can' t see the stars, you can see many things associated with them. Hollywood souvenir shops are filled with autographs, old movie posters, costumes, and stills (photos of scenes from films).

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June 18, 2006: The famous sofa that is said some movie stars started their career on :-))

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June 18, 2006: Hollywood hills in the distance. Can you see the mist in the air? It was boiling, sticky weather on that day.

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June 18, 2006: Kodak Theater - the place for annual Oscar Academy Award.

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June 18, 2006: Hollywood was once all farmland. By 1910, however, filmmakers began moving there. Southern California's climate was perfect for shooting movies year-round. And the area had settings for just about any movie - it had mountains, desert, and ocean. Soon "Hollywood" came to mean "the American film industry."

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June 18, 2006: This was to be Nicole Kidman's mansion.

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June 18, 2006: Here are views from Hollywood Hills with marvellous Southern California's flora. Los Angeles in the distance.

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June 18, 2006: See Hollywood in style! In a Limousine!

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June 18, 2006: Walt Disney Hall

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June 18, 2006: Los Angeles City Hall

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June 18, 2006: Look, wedding! Best of luck!

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June 18, 2006: Isn't that gorgeous?

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June 18, 2006: These are pictures taken at Mexican Market. California' s people come from many different places and cultures. Over one-fourth of population is Hispanic. California also has a large Asian population; one-third of all Asian-Americans live in California. It was originally part of Mexico, and some Hispanics are the descendants of old Californian families.

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June 18, 2006: California' s houses are being built in a different way in compare to ours. Since there' s a permanent threat of an earthquake, the house' s structure is basically made of wood.

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June 18, 2006: At Santa Monica Beach

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June 18, 2006: Danny, especially for you! :-))

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June 18, 2006: On our way we saw more than beautiful houses...some of them situated on cliffs.

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June 18, 2006: L.A. area is surrounded by hills and mountains.

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June 18, 2006: On the road. Rush hour on the freeway in L.A.

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June 18, 2006: Jirka in front of his L.A. apartment.

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June 18, 2006: No comment ...

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June 19, 2006: On Monday, June 19, Denisa (our guide) with Adelka took us to Universal Studios Hollywood - world's largest movie studio&theme park. You can see some scenes from movies, you can go on a tour. Several shows are based in Hollywood, and visitors can be game show participants! But think twice before you decide to take "Mummy the ride." It was too fast and the furious :-))

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June 19, 2006: We went on the Jurasic Park tour, exciting and frightening.

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June 19, 2006: You can be a football player

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June 19, 2006: ... or a NASA team member

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June 19, 2006: You can meet the King Kong

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June 19, 2006: ... or Spider Man

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June 19, 2006: ... or a shark

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June 19, 2006: You can even improve your image ...

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June 19, 2006: Or just walk on the red carpet:-))

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June 19, 2006: And we went on a Shrek 4-D attraction. We FELT the action - right from our own seats! It was amazing experience.

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June 19, 2006: We also saw in which way the movie makers shoot the scenes simulating the real fire, explosions, floods, car crash, etc.

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June 19, 2006: The city in the city - Hollywood Studios.

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June 19, 2006: We took the Movie Star Car and traveled through the times and the movie scenery.

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June 19, 2006: This is the Gladiator movie scene.

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June 19, 2006: The set/street for shooting Desperate Housewives.

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June 19, 2006: The background for making fairy- tales.

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June 19, 2006: Can you recognize that? This is the rest of the scene for the horror Psycho.

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June 19, 2006: Another background needed for shooting a brand new Tom Cruise' s movie.

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June 19, 2006: ... yeah ... the photographers. We wanted to take it all!

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June 19, 2006: Water World - the last attraction we went on that afternoon. We saw death-defying stunts, awesome explosions and ocean thrills!

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June 19, 2006: The stunts encouraged the audience all the time.

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June 19, 2006: In action ...

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June 19, 2006: And terrifying explosion.

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June 19, 2006: On the last but one day Ivo, Denisa, Adelka, and I went to the Getty Center. This is a place to experience and enjoy art in a unique setting that features dramatic architecture, beautiful gardens, and breathtaking views. Just enjoy the series of the photographs I took there.

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June 20, 2006: Last evening we spent at the Malibu Beach. The waves of the Pacific ocean were not calm at all! We felt melancholic a bit since we had to say our goodbyes to Los Angeles and Jirka' s family. So, goodbye our friends, goodbye L.A. and, maybe, sometimes at other times ...

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