Long Beach, California
From Union Station I caught the Red line to 7th Street, then
transfered to the Blue line to Long Beach. It was afternoon
by the time I got there, but this played into my
hands beautifully as I wanted to see it in the dark - The
Queen Mary! This part is only really meaningful if you've
seen a film called The Gumball Rally, there is no other reason I
wanted to go there, and this time of year probably little reason to
be at Long Beach for anyone unless you work there.
As I approached the Queen Mary on the free shuttle bus we
joined a stretch of freeway towards the docklands, from this
high vantage point one could see the whole port stretching
away into the haze on the horizon, a bit like Tyneside. I
could also see the storm drains - undoubtedly the ones which
the two leaders race each other through to
beat the traffic, just before the end of the race.
The Queen Mary itself is a hotel, as it was in the film,
however the parking lot was full and they'd since added a
Russian attack submarine to the dock and a hut so I couldn't get a
very good shot of the ship; I didn't have a camera capable of
night-time shots anyway so I had to make-do with this one.
Baggage in tow, I had a pizza at a local restaurant.
That was that. Not much else to see, there was a small
tourist village with a few shops but I had seen what I came
to see. I negotiated the public transport down to San Pedro,
by this time is was dark and I had to change in what I
presumed must be downtown San Pedro. Waiting around at a bus
stop for the best part of an hour while watching my back was
not much fun. When I finally reached my destination I was
immediately confused - the hostel guide said that the bus
dropped off right outside the hostel, but this was the
middle of a residential area, in the dark... Aaaaaaaaarrrrgh!
Through a process of elimination I found the hostel at the
top of the hill behind a very secure looking fence. This was
an old fort on the hilltop overlooking the Pacific coastline
here. There was a moment of panic when I thought I'd lost my
cash card and hostel card, but otherwise there was no more
excitement that day. I sat down at a table and repaired my
painted plate with the super glue I had bought. There was a
curious French sounding guy who claimed to be German, he was
challenging all-comers to chess. I gave him one game then
retired to my bunk in the barracks.