Monday 10 April 2017

New York Day 1 - Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island & Ground Zero

I am sorry that I have been a bit AWOL recently however I have had a good reason and that is my holiday to New York! Seven of us headed off for seven days packed with fun and sightseeing to celebrate my mum’s 50th birthday. It was amazing but very tiring. I did so much that I thought it would be easier to split each day into a separate blog post so that if you are going to New York and want to do a few things whilst you are there then you can read my posts and see what landmarks are near to each other.

Day one was officially my mum's 50th birthday and we hopped on the local subway early on during the day for our first event which was to go up the Statue of Liberty. The subway was an absolute life saver for us. Tickets cost $32 for a weeks unlimited use and we certainly got our money’s worth. Who wants to sit in traffic in a yellow cab all day?! – not me! Not only is the subway famous, it is clean and warm and we always felt safe. Some of the stations even had NYPD officers manning them. There were times (during rush hour) where we were practically pressed up against the next person but it’s all part of the fun of being in the hustle and bustle of New York City! We headed to the last stop on the J train and walked the rest of the way down to Battery Park. We were very lucky to book our statue of liberty tickets 6 months in advance which meant we could go right up to the crown. This is not something that is offered on a standard ticket and must be booked, otherwise you may only be able to view from the pedestal. After a traumatic (for me) climb up the small spiral staircase of hell as I like to call it, we finally reached the top. It was so worth the climb and the views were absolutely amazing. The one thing I couldn't believe was how small the viewing area was, the head always looks so big but you could barely fit 10 people up there. It was basically a metal shell so was pretty hot and stuffy up there too despite it being about 1 degree outside and very windy. The head was actually moving slightly in the wind which was an odd experience. It was pretty cold however we could cope with it, we got a Statue Cruises boat over from Battery Park to the island and had some amazing views of the skyline on the way. I recommend sitting on the right hand side of the top deck if you want to get the best photos looking back to the skyline.

After we had climbed our way back down we had a look around the museum at the bottom of the statue. We then visited the gift shop and I bought some reasonably priced fridge magnets. We took a few selfies and photos with her lady liberty and we hopped back on the boat which then took us over to Ellis Island. This was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants and I was keen to look for my family name on the plaques. It was really interesting and there was a lot to read up on, you could spend a long time here. You could also get some amazing photos of the skyline here, and there was hardly anyone in sight blocking the views. I imagine in the summer this would be a lot busier.

After Ellis Island we got on another boat which took us back to Manhattan. We popped into a Subway for a quick lunch as it was the nearest place and already we had managed to rack up about 5 miles of walking. We then headed to Ground Zero. It was very peaceful here which was nice to see. It was the day after the London Westminster attacks and they had upped their security in the area. They even had a plaque in place dedicated to London. I didn't film or take many photos here out of respect but it was so bizarre being here, but felt very calm. I imagine it is a complete and utter contrast to the absolute chaos and devastation that happened  during 9/11. We visited the 9/11 museum which was one of the best experiences on the trip and I got to see so much and learn so much about 9/11. I would 100% recommend going to this museum if you are heading to ground zero.

After we visited the museum we went for dinner at Bills Bar and Burger which was just around the corner. We had cocktails, nachos and burgers. We then found a subway station and headed back to our apartment. I hated walking around Brooklyn at night, by the end I was used to it but it certainly took some time. When we arrived back there was a police car and an ambulance outside our apartment which scared me slightly but it was nothing to worry about in the end and there were no further incidents throughout the duration of our trip. 

I also daily vlogged and you can see day one here:

Thank you for reading!


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