Sunday, April 6, 2008


Anaheim is a city of the Orange County, California, where Walt Disney built his first great thematic park, the Disneyland, in 1955. In 2001, another park was built - the Disney's Adventure Park, beside the original one. Originally an orange plantation, now the parks are completely surround by the city.

The entrance to Disneyland is through Main Street - USA, which tries to reproduce an American town of the beginning of the 20th century with its typical constructions and stores.

At the end of Main Street we find the statues of Walt Disney and Mickey with the Sleeping Beauty's Castle in the background.

There are amusements for all ages like whirling around the Mad Tea Party or visiting Mickey's Toontown.

There are places that make the visitors believe he or she are somewhere else like the rivers of America or a little Alpine village.

For youngsters of all ages there is also the opportunity to meet and hug their favorite characters.

The attractions of Disney's California Adventure are mainly for adolescents and adults. At the entrance of the park there is a reproduction of the Golden Gate bridge.

The movie industry theme is found everywhere in the park.

The movie theme is present in stores, theatres and attractions like the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

The part of the park named Paradise Pier tries to reproduce the amusement parks of the California piers, like the one in Santa Monica. There we can find a giant roller coaster - the California Screaming - and a giant Ferris wheel - the Sun Wheel.

A visit to the Disney parks in Anaheim, California, will not disappoint the dedicated photographer or, as they try to make us believe, it can be a photographer's dream come true…

Saturday, April 5, 2008

San Diego

San Diego is the southernmost coast city of California. It is also the third biggest city of the state e has a mild climate. Founded by the Spanish in the 18th century, it belongs to the United States since the 1850's and is very close to the border of Mexico.

The center of the city is compact and can be explored by foot. Trolleys and buses can be used to move around the city. I also used taxis during my visit to San Diego in March 2008, because the distances between the sites of interest are not very far.

The center of the city is being renovated in the last years with modern skyscrapers, but there are still large open spaces by the bay.

A bridge, high enough to allow the passing of large ships, links the continent the Peninsula del Coronado, which offers a natural protection for the port of San Diego.

The famous Hotel del Coronado is situated in the peninsula beside the beach. Founded in 1888 and with more than 700 rooms, the hotel keeps the high standards which have attracted famous guests for decades.

Beside the hotel, a villa was built recently along the beach, with the same architectural characteristics of the hotel.

The San Diego Zoo is among the best of the world. Below, we can see images of vicunhas, natural from the Andes, and a gorilla baby among the many species that can be seen.

The Seaworld of San Diego, besides presenting the traditional shows with dolphins and killer wales…

…has artificial habitats for some species like sharks, sea lions…

…penguins and flamingos, among a lot of other species of marine mammals, fishes and reptiles.

Next to the center of the city, the Seaport Village Mall is situated along San Diego bay. Its stores and restaurants are located in the open air, in a very pleasant environment.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Los Angeles

How is it possible to know a megalopolis in just a few hours? That is just what I had when I visited Los Angeles in March 2008. For that reason I had to plan a very selective visit.

Although there are subway lines covering part of the city and buses all over the place, it is better to move around the city by car due to the great distances between the sites.

Starting from downtown, my first visit was to Hollywood Boulevard, from where I captured images of the famous sign by the hillside, the most recognizable landmark of Los Angeles.

In Hollywood Boulevard we can find other famous attractions like the Walk of Fame, with names of artists since the beginning of the 20th century, the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where premieres of great productions have taken place and the Kodak Theatre, where the Academy Awards ceremonies take place annually.

Around Hollywood Boulevard we can find a lot of subjects for capturing interesting images.

Below, to the left: an image of the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. To the right: an image of the famous Sunset Boulevard, close to Hollywood.

My second visit was to Santa Monica Beach and its Pier.

The Santa Monica Pier was built in 1908. There we can find an amusement park and the famous Ferris wheel of the Pacific.

The pier is a very pleasant place and present many opportunities for capturing images.

Following the coast, my next visit was to Venice Beach with its curious people and unconventional stores.

In the end, I went back downtown just in time to capture the last rays of sun on the Union Station and the famous building of City Hall, built in 1928, under the light of late afternoon.

Did I get to know Los Angeles? Certainly not. There was, though, enough time to capture great images, like this detail of the roller coaster of Santa Monica Pier.