New York City Tour DayAugust 24, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 19 °C
Today we dared to venture out in to the streets of New York and hit the tourist trail. We started our day picking up the Hop On Hop Off bus just off Times Square, it was really busy due to rush hour traffic and all those pesky tourists 😉 Our tour guide was an interesting character, very enthusiastic. I've done a fair few of these types of buses in different cities and I can honestly say I've never experienced anything quite like it!?! 😂 Although I've been to New York a few times the bus was a 1st for me and I loved it, you get to see so much more of the architecture (at my height level on the street you don't see a lot of that!) and hear so much overall information about the history of the city and the different areas. I was particularly excited as they pointed out land marks and areas where films and TV shows had been filmed. The New York public library and Bryant Park, both used in the first Sex and The City film. 😬
The first place we decided to get off was in the financial district and go and see the 9/11 Memorial where the fountains are, x2 built exactly where both towers stood. It was very emotional, there was such an air of quiet and respect, the last time I came to New York this area was very much still a building site. It really made you think, what happened to all those poor innocent people, unimaginable and the events that, although American history, changed all our lives forever. I think most people of a certain age remember where they were when it happened. I did read that the memorial places a single white rose on a name on the date when it would of been their Birthday, I saw at least one, it was very moving.
While we were there we visited the new One World Observatory, it really was a very nice tribute to the city. After going through security it showed on a projected screen how many people from each different country in the world had visited within a month (they asked you where you were from when you got your ticket) keeping with the one world theme. As you walked through to the lifts there were videos by people who had built the tower, very moving and personal reasons they wanted to be involved, there was then information about the earth which the tower is built on, what type it was and that above our head was 4.5 million tonnes of steel!?! Going up in the lift they projected on to 3 walls the history of the New York skyline going through the years and it showed the floors, we got off at 102. You then went into a small room and things were projected onto a screen, which then lifted up to show out of the windows your first glimpse at the skyline, wow! We walked round the observation, it is all glass so did make it difficult to take photos etc due to the glare. Going back down in the lifts the 3 screens projected the outside of the building, my ears hurt and needed to pop due to the speed of the lift. Back outside we walked through the Oculus building before grabbing lunch in a market style cafeteria.
After lunch we got on the Statue of Liberty Island ferry, we didn't get off on the island or Ellis island but it gave you great views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
We then got back on the Hop On Hop Off bus after waiting some time, unfortunately the air conditioning wasn't working downstairs so we could only fill upstairs, I ended up sitting next to the tour guide and he kept asking me where I was from and when I said UK, he kept saying 'I'm good thanks!' 🙈 The bus took us back to near the Rockefeller Center, we sat and had tea at a nice Italian themed restaurant, recharged our batteries.
After tea we then queued in Times Square for the night time tour of the Hop On Hop Off bus. In the queue we got talking to x2 couples from New Zealand, nice and friendly, we had a good chat about travel etc. 1 of the couples has visited Chester!!! ❤️ The tour was such a unique experience and goes on for an hour and a half, you go over the Manhattan Bridge which feels very high up and you can hear the subway underneath. It gives you amazing views back of the Brooklyn Bridge and NY skyline. Although you do have to be careful, as you do on the day tour, as in places the traffic lights and trees are very very low! No selfie sticks... You cover so much area and even at night all the hooting, horn noise and general New York City atmosphere.
A long day, sleep required. Night! Another full sightseeing day tomorrow!
Love & hugs