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Published: December 19th 2014
After 19 hours of travelling, I had finally arrived in my last destination, New York just after midnight on a cold November evening. I then had to make my way from JFK airport to my hotel in Chinatown, adding another hour or so to my day, but when I finally arrived I did find my room to be lovely and warm, and easily set about going to sleep and having a long lie in.
Waking up at about 9am, I decided not to keep lying in bed, as I had a very early start the next day, and so started exploring New York. I started my day going over to the Flatiron building, and then walking up Fifth Avenue, past the Public library, Rockefeller Center, and into Central Park - before heading back down to Grand Central station, the Chrysler Building and finally the UN building - where I had booked a tour in the late afternoon.
The UN is classed as international territory, and once inside we got to see the Security Council chamber, (unfortunately the main debating hall was closed for repairs), and many artifacts and awards, before going to the shop and
buying gifts and postcards with special UN stamps for postage.
After this I went off to Times Square to eat and then head back off to bed. The following three days I had booked an excursion to Niagara Falls and Washington DC (which are detailed in RTW 11.2). Coming back on the Friday night I had time to check in at my new hotel and get some sleep before my final two days of exploration.
I got up and headed straight over to the World Trade Centre memorial site, which had just opened a few months previously, allowing visitors to see the new fountains on the site of the towers; after which I took the free Statten Island ferry which gives a great view of the Statue of Liberty as it goes past. The change in Statten Island involved a quick run through the ferry terminal to make the return ferry in 1 minute, or wait another half hour - successfully I made this, unlike many others who were shouting "ruuuuuuuuuuuuun" only to fail to board in time.
Making my way back to Manhattan I walked around much of the civic
and financial buildings, such as Wall Street, before crossing Brooklyn Bridge and taking loads of pictures of the Manhattan skyline. It was here that I got a laugh, thanks to a girl was discussing with her friend the biggest issue in her life - that whenever someone asks her where she's from, when she replies Brooklyn they always reply "No, where are you REALLY from? Nobody is from Brooklyn" #FirstWorldProblems
On my final day I had a late flight, and so after leaving my suitcase back at my hotel, I went off back to the Rockefeller Centre, where I went up to the top floor, giving me great views to the north over Central Park, and to the south over Manhattan, with a great view of the Empire State Building in its full glory. I then finished the day and my trip with a wander around Central Park, before heading off to the airport and my flight home.
For final words on the whole trip and the story of my excursion, see part 2!
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