on October 16, 2010
After a day of sightseeing in downtown Los Angeles I got my guidebook out and decided to go to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary, a very famous ship which is now a museum and attraction. Los Angeles has an underground system, albeit not a very good one as it doesnt extend to certain parts of the city, such as Santa Monica. However there is a direct train between Downtown LA and Long Beach.I caught the train to Long Beach from the main Union street station. I boarded the MTA blue line and the underground eventually goes overground. The journey takes about an hour and the views of the suburbs are splendid. The train also has a stop at the famous Compton area. Long Beach is the last stop and the town centre is superb having several shops and restuarants. You get to the main street and there are bus stops for the Queen Mary, these are free and run frequently.When you get on the bus it gives you great views of the marina and the wonderful illuminations that long beach offers. The bus will then stop at the Queen Mary. The boat is majestic and there is a long staircase leading up to it. It also doubles as a hotel and restuarant and is very classy. They do tours for around $12, however when i arrived it was evening so i was allowed to go on deck all the same. The boat is very splendid and you get the sense that it was a pure luxurious journey for those that afforded the journey when it was sailing. It has thick wooden floors and it is a long walk throughout the decks. The boat enables you to take great photographs and there are fantastic views. I spent a couple of hours walking around looking at the pictures and souveneirs and reading the various items of historical value. When youre out on deck there are several seats to rest. You have to go to the right side of deck to see the most spectacular view that looks across the bay at the sights of downtown LA. There are lots of tourists and people taking photographs. The boat is very old and you get to read a bit of its history. How it used to be the major transatlantic boat before it docked in Long Beach in the early 90s. Since then it has served as a major attraction of the area and is also a hotel.The restuarant was good but very expensive. It seemed to be more suitable for the affluent and the elite. You were allowed to sit inboard all the same. There are a maze of corridors within the boat and you will be constantly looking at the old furniture and reading the plaques and also gaining an insight into naval history as well as the history of the boat.The bus transported me back to Long Beach town. I decided to have something to eat in the town and there are a vast amount of restuarants and fast food outlets to cater to all sorts of budgets. I settled for some Louisana fried chicken in an outlet beside the train station. I then made my return journey back to the city. Get an all day ticket for $5 it is good value and allows you to make several journeys throughout the day.A visit to Long Beach and the Queen Mary is a must, you will explore more of Los Angeles and get to see something really historical. Whats more its free.
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