United States


Manhattan, Liberty Island

171 days away


4 km / 2 miles since last post

60,523 km / 37,607 miles total


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Taking Liberties

Our Route (to 17/04/2011)

Taking Liberties

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This morning we had another gut-busting breakfast at the diner next door - knowing this would set us up for the day nicely. Then we took the subway south to the end of the line, to South Ferry for our visit to the Statue of Liberty.

When we got out of the subway station at South Ferry we soon found ourselves in Battery Park, the location to get the ferry. Our New York Pass entitled us to free round-trip ferry tickets to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. It also advised us in our guide that we could skip the usual ticket queue and get our free tickets from the bookstore. We saw the queue for the tickets which looked like around a 20 minute wait, and it felt good to go straight into the bookstore and right to the front to get our tickets straight away. We thought this couldn't be easier.

However, when we came out of the bookstore to find the queue for the ferry, we were a bit disappointed to discover that the queue was snaking nearly all the way around Battery Park! Estimates that we heard from other people were that the queue would take around two hours! A little disheartened but still determined, we joined the queue with everyone else.

Despite the queue moving forward a little bit every few minutes, it seemed that those inital estimates were fairly spot on. We found ourselves at the security tent just before the two hour mark had passed - how utterly ridiculous!

At the security tent they were carrying out 'airport-style' security, where everyone had to remove any metal objects and place them in a tray to go through an x-ray machine etc. The funny thing about this was that the x-ray machine detected a pair of scissors in Stu's camera bag which he had completely forgotten about. Funny, because he has been through actual airport security a few times now with those scissors in his bag, and has never had them detected up until now. Perhap more worrying than funny actually!

After security, the previously single file queue turned into one big surging mass of people as everyone tried to barge their way forward. My previous level of politeness gone, I found mysef barging through like all the rest.

Finally, we found ourselves on the ferry and on our way to Liberty Island. The ferry was pretty full, so it was difficult to get pictures off the side of the ferry as everyone else had the same idea.

As we were disembarking the ferry we were advised that the ferry would shortly depart for Ellis Island, and this would be the last depature for Ellis Island today. Whilst I had wanted to see Ellis Island, I think by now we just wanted to make sure we got to see the Statue of Liberty and just got off on Liberty Island.

We took a walk around and took the expected tourist shots of both the Statue of Liberty and the view back to New York City. I tried to spot how many people I could see who were either copying the Statue of Liberty pose, or who were pretending to hold the statue in their photos. I soon got bored and lost count though!

Before heading back to the ferry we stopped briefly at the island cafe to get a couple of severely overpriced drinks and a couple of chocolate bars, and thankfully didn't face any more queueing to get back to New York City.

Once off the ferry we took a walk over to the World Trade Centre site nearby. They are currently in the process of building a few things here, including a memorial, so you can't actually get that close. Although it is clear to see the huge site which the two towers would have once occupied.

Next we took a walk over to Wall Street in the financial district. We spotted the New York Stock Exchange Building, amongst many of the enormous skyscrapers here. Apparently rising stock markets are called bulls and falling markets are called bears, and along from Wall Street is a golden statue of a bull representing this. However, with the numerous tourists clambering all over it Stu was only able to capture the picture of its behind!

We took the subway from Wall Street back to our hotel. We needed to contact someone about securing our booking for the apartment in Vancouver. However, we tried calling someone but there was no answer. We shall have to sort this out tomorrow instead.

We headed back out again to go to the Rockefeller Centre to do the 'Top of the Rock'. Another free attraction with our New York Pass, we could not only get free tickets to the Observation Deck at the top of the Rockefeller, but could also avoid the main queue. In the shorter queue we only had to wait about ten minutes to get to the ticket desk.

Unfortunately, the next time we could go up to the top was 7:50pm, and we had wanted to come down here to see the sunset from the top. We tried to make excuses that we were flying home tomorrow (lie) and that today was our last chance to see the sunset, but it didn't work and they wouldn't let us up until our allotted time. However, they did say we could exchange our tickets for sunset time tickets tomorrow - which is exactly what we did.

We headed to a burger joint within the Rockefeller building for dinner, then took a walk back to our hotel.