Thursday, 18 August 2011

Destination Unknown - part 2

The train ride was extremely quick, considering how many blocks it was travelling through. I had to change to another line to get to Century 21, which is just outside the site of the Former Twin Towers. I find it awkward visiting the memorial area and then going off to do shopping. It's quite a contrast but somehow it seems to be a convenience to tourists despite how insensitive that may sound at first.

What still amazes me is exactly how low planes fly around the buildings at the WTC site...

Rebuilding still in progress...

Century 21 could be a complete blog post in itself. There is so much to write about it that I don't even know where to begin. So, I'll keep it short. There are several levels, and I felt like I was navigating through a maze at times. There were little corners that took you to other departments beside clothing such as footwear, accessories etc... My day was running short so I paced through the entire store with good speed :) And mind you, this was through both the male and female departments as there were a few gifts I needed to buy. This trip didn't permit much time for shopping, so I had no choice but to navigate through here quickly.

After a stressful and adventurous time at Century 21, I was back at home resting. However, not for long. Some of us purchased cruise tickets for the July 4th fireworks so we had to prepare and check into the harbour area in the late afternoon. The cruise itself was fantastic and it was wonderful getting to know the American Dream crew (my Uni friends) a whole lot better. It was a casual setting, so we had the chance to talk a lot more, not just run around and make it on time to visits in our program's schedule.

The food served on board was not too bad but we were here primarily for the fireworks show. We cruised around for several hours before the show began. We were greeted with a 'beyond stunning' view of the city skyline, which was soon consumed by an amazing sunset. I've seen many sunsets, but this one is very close to the top of my list. It was a pinkish-orange and no camera would ever do it justice.

The fireworks were spectacular and we began to see how significant this day was for the American people. No funds were held back it seemed, as the show lasted almost twice as long as ours in Australia.

The next few days were spent visiting places such as police units, tenements, unions and cat shelters. Glenn, our tour leader planned some wonderful visits and we were left with just enough time to squeeze in our own such as the Empire State building. If you thought only airports were tight with security, think again. It took us almost an hour to reach the top and we were beginning to feel tired. Once we reaches the top, we forgot about our exhaustion and were wide-awake!  The view was spectacular!  Times square lit up an entire district from above and we could make out the already-dark Central park. We missed sunset due to the queue but the night was majestic!

I titled this blog 'Destination unknown' as that was a song that seemed to continuously run through my mind whilst in NY. At times, it was entirely true. We didn't know where we were going, but what we did know was that we were out for an adventure!  I hope some day I will be able to revisit New York as it really is a tourist-friendly city. Although, I had a laugh when several people thought I was an American until I opened my mouth. Nonetheless, I felt welcome either way and for that I am forever thankful to America.

I hope I can say the same for Washington as that's our next stop. Keep your eyes on this blog as I'll be posting about Washington as soon as I can!

If you have friends who have been or will be traveling to the US, feel free to link them to this travel blog. All comments are welcome, and I hope it may be of use if anyone is traveling soon!

Until next time readers :)

Some more random photos of NY!

Brooklyn Bridge is amazing.  A wonderful structure!

I loved the fact that the bridge was people, bike, pram, rollerblades - friendly!

Group photo just before we split.  Some of us walked the entire bridge whilst the rest went back to the CBD

These police cars are everywhere...  I thought no-one was inside until after I took the photo.  The female police officer gave me a funny look :P

China Town in New York - definitely worth a visit!

Does this really need a caption?

Some moody photos of NY just before we went up to the Empire State Building.  Although we missed sunset up at the Observation deck, I'm so happy I got these few photos down below!

Well, that's it for New York folks!  I know I could write another 1000 blog posts about it, but life goes on...  Many more places to visit and so little time :)  

All comments are welcome, I look forward to hearing about what you think!
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