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  • Day13

    The symbol of it all.

    April 25, 2018 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

    When you think of New York / US, there are some main things that come into your mind: Empire State Building, World Trade Center, Wall Street, Central Park, Coca-Cola 🙂. Still, the perfect symbol of what this country means and especially meant for millions of people can be only one: the Statue of Liberty. This day was dedicated to visiting the Liberty Island (where the Statue is located) and the Ellis Island.
    The Ellis Island was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. from 1892 until 1954.
    In the Island’s museum you can hear & read about how this country was discovered, populated and built (starting from Columbus in 1492). Along the years, people came here for different reasons: because of difficult conditions in their countries, because of religion, for the opportunities they had here (land, gold etc.), others were deported and others came as slaves. The information presented is not trying „to portray“ the country as the perfect place, but also as a place where lots of people were in-slaved, others judged and killed for being different, while others were depraved of their and homes and land (Indians). The place is full of history... Honestly, when you enter the big registration/ luggage room, you can almost see and hear the thousands of people that waited there to be accepted in US, hopping for a new and better life.
    As for the Statue itself (in place since 1886), while approaching it from the sea, you can see it standing alone in the middle of the island, with the flame up in the sky - and you then understand why it was, and probably still is perceived as a symbol of liberty, of freedom and of hope. It is imposant, somehow showing force and power over all.
    The tour for both islands (Ellis & Liberty) lasted in total around 5h, including also the waiting period for the ferry (approx 1h with reserved tickets). It can take even longer for those who visit all of the Ellis Island and really go through all the information in the museum.
    In the evening we went to Chinatown for dinner. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, as I expected something else: more light, more noise, more open stores, more „Chinese atmosphere“. Nothing like that, though. Still, the food was very tasty: we just picked a random restaurant, as I think you can not really go wrong with the food there.
    Another day full of history and mixed emotions. Tomorrow they announced rain, so we will take a break from visiting and we will sacrifice our time to shopping. Good luck with that!☺️
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