A Travellerspoint blog

New York - Part 1

sunny 19 °C
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The final stop on my trip up the east coast with Dad was New York. And it was everything I had heard and expected it to be - definately the most exciting and energetic city I have visited so far on my trip! The skyscrapers were amazing - in every direction, as far as you could see. And taking in the sights of New York is made all the more interesting by having to dodge the endless stream of yellow cabs that don't stop for pedestrians (but they might beep their horn at you if you're lucky!). Although I was a bit disappointed that the classic "Walk" and "Don't Walk" lights at pedestrian crossings have now been replaced with a white man and red man. Political correctness to the extreme!

Times square was only about 10 minutes walk from our hotel and we spent the first evening wondering around, but being constantly annoyed by ticket touts for the opentop bus tours. The first day or so we saw lots of the must-see sights I guess - Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Brooklyn Bridge and Grand Central Terminal. Development on Ground Zero has progressed a lot further than I realised and the photo below shows construction of Tower 1, the largest tower.

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One of the highlights has been the trip up the Rockerfeller Center. We had a nice day and some amazing views, especially of Central Park and the Empire State Building.

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Posted by BensWorld 07:22 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Philadelphia

sunny 21 °C
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So we had a few days to get from Washington DC to New York, looked at a map and Philadelphia seemed somewhere inbetween! Not knowing anything about the city, we caught the train and here we are! The city is small enough to walk around the centre and our hotel is really near a huge indoor food market selling loads of authentic food (Reading Terminal Market). The city also seems to have a large italian-american and african-american population.

Independance Hall is also in Philadelphia, this was where the declaration of independance was signed, as well as the drafting of the US constitution. After visiting these, we went to Chinatown where I had one of the best chinese meals I've ever had. Mmmm tasty!

Next stop...New York!!

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Posted by BensWorld 15:28 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Washington DC

sunny 21 °C
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Dad came out to meet me in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. No more staying in cheap hostels over the next few days - luxury in a hotel! But when we arrived, we found out that Barak Obama was holding a nuclear disarmament conference and there were something like, the most number of world leaders in one place since World War II. As you can imagine, being the USA security is fairly tight.

The weather has been fantastic, nice and sunny - summer seems to be on its way! Washington doesn't have much to see apart from the museums and political buildings, which are all located along the mall. We went to the American History museum and the Air and Space museum. Both were very good, but I think two museums were enough for one visit!

We walked along the mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol building. We probably arrived there at about 5.45pm and didn't expect to see inside, but one of the security guards waved us in. We then followed through some security checks, not sure what we would be able to see, but then suddenly ended up in the senate viewing gallery. Very bizaree in a country with such strict security! Unfortunately they weren't talking about anything exciting though - something to do with internet privacy and regulation. Yawn!

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Posted by BensWorld 15:12 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

San Francisco

sunny 22 °C
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I've had a fantastic week in San Francisco - the weather has been really sunny so I have been taking way too many photos. I cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, definately one of the highlights. I also thought that walking around the city would be good exercise and I wasn't wrong, the hills were up and down non stop. Chinatown was very interesting in San Francisco, with restaurants and cheap souvenir shops next to very expensive antique shops with chandaliers and marble sculptures of lions and dragons! I saw a chandalier for $80,000, but in the end I chose to just get some lunch in the shop next door.

I went to the giant redwood forests just over the Golden Gate Bridge, and they were huge - you can just about make out some small people in the picture below to get a sense of scale.

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I also went on a trip to Alcatraz - a very interesting place, but the island has now been taken over by seagulls...literally! Most of the island has been turned into a bird sanctuary, with thousands of seagulls nesting there, and I hate seagulls!! I also never knew that the island was taken over by native indians in 1970s. It's not all just about the prison, apparently.

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Posted by BensWorld 16:47 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Honolulu & Pearl Harbour

sunny 27 °C
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Just a few pictures below showing the city of Honolulu and my trip to Pearl Harbour.

The white floating structure is the USS Arizona Memorial which sits over the wreck of the ship that sunk after the Japanese attack in 1941, killing over 1,000 people and starting WWII for the Americans. The battleship in the picture is the USS Missouri which was where the peace treaty was signed between the US and Japan, ending the war. There's also a WWII submarine that I looked around. Lots and lots of history there...

Next stop, San Francisco!

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Posted by BensWorld 22:46 Archived in USA Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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