It was 9 pm. We were very tired after sitting in the car the whole day on our way to New York. It was my birthday and we had embarked on our road trip from Charlotte in the early hours of the morning. After many long hours, we went through a long tunnel, and on the other side there was a sign that read: WELCOME TO NEW YORK!!! We had arrived in New York City! Everyone was now wide awake again. I could not believe we were in New York on my birthday!!!
A few minutes later, we stopped outside an old apartment building, in a small side street. Instantly Kali started getting nervous. We went inside and found our tiny little apartment for $62 a night. It may have been small, but the owner was very friendly and the place was clean.
The next morning, we walked to the subway station one block away. There we bought tickets and got on. Ten minutes later, we got off and walked a few blocks to Wall Street. Here, after about twenty minutes of searching, we found our tour guide. Jon was a nice guy with a great sense of humour. During our six hour walking tour of Manhattan, I would have been able to fill a whole book with all the things I saw and learnt, but here are my highlights:
- The Twin Tower Memorial was something I have always wanted to see and learn more about. I was very excited when we arrived. Our guide shared a lot of good information with us, that really helped me understand what happened.
- Little Italy, is the suburb where Italian immigrants settled for the first time, and who generations later, still inhabit the area. It was full of small shops and restaurants and interesting buildings.
- Lunch in Little Italy, a delicious pizza.
- Another of my highlights was that in every street, there was something interesting to learn. For example, the first building with a lift in it, the highest building with a fire escape on the outside and many other small bits of interesting facts about the buildings, their former inhabitants or uses.
I can definitely conclude that, if you are ever looking for a tour to do in New York, Free Tours By Foot is the best one there is.
Following the tour, we walked along a pathway, towards the ferry terminals and after about an hour, we went inside a café where I got a milkshake. (Not the best I have ever tasted.) However, twenty minutes later, we were on board a ferry and sailing steadily down the Hudson River. Now we got to see New York from the river. We saw many famous buildings, including the World Trade Centre, Chrysler Building and Empire State Building. A little while later, we were underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, something I always longed to do. From there we sailed on, gazing at the city and taking photos with all the famous landmarks in the background. We turned around and sailed back a different route. Then, in front of me was the one thing I dreamed of seeing – the Statue of Liberty. It was up close now and people were all trying to take photos of it. I just stood there looking at it. It was amazing! After seeing it, we sailed back to the terminal.
We then walked to Times Square. The place was crowded with people, huge screens with advertisements and flashing light! So much excitement. We just watched everything around us, it was a whole experience in itself. All too soon, we had to head back to our apartment for the night.
We got up early and went for a run in Central Park. There were lots of people exercising, playing sports, or just chilling with friends. Afterwards, we went to get our breakfast bagels on Madison Avenue. We then headed back on a bus.
Back at the apartment, we showered and packed our bags, before getting on the subway to the airport. We were on our way again, this time to Finland.
– Ruzow –