A Travellerspoint blog

USA

New York & The North East USA

RTW - New York

overcast 7 °C
View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


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.

Grand Central

Grand Central

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 artefacts and awards, before going to the shop and buying gifts and postcards with special UN stamps for postage.

UN

UN

After this I went off to Times Square to eat and then head back off to bed, as for the following three days I had booked an excursion to Niagara Falls and Washington DC.

Meeting early the following morning in Chinatown, I boarded the bus that would take us on our trip with mostly Chinese tourists, but also Europeans and some Americans and Australians. Each of our days involved early starts and late finishes, but crammed in a lot into just 3 days!

We began the trip heading north, stopping at the Secret Caverns en route...however with the trip already not being cheap, I decided that for most of these "optional excursions" as they were called, I would not bother with. Unfortunately this did mean hanging about outside on my own in the cold for 45 minutes most of the time...but in the end I realised this was probably worth it, as they were all tourist traps I wasn't bothered about.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Eventually we arrived at Niagara Falls in the evening, and after getting some dinner I went off to explore the falls in darkness, which meant that they were lit up with lights from the Canadian side. Unfortunately the way the trip was planned, and the experience of American immigration meant I had to scrap my plans to cross over into the Canadian side, where the best view undoubtedly was....but I did get to get insanely close to the waterfall edge!

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

We returned to the falls again the following morning to see them in daylight (where water got inside my camera and almost ruined the day's photos) after we had visited the Niagara Fort up by Lake Ontario, where there was even a view of Toronto!

View across Lake Ontario

View across Lake Ontario


US Capitol

US Capitol

On the final day of the excursion, we started by visiting Washington DC. Here we visited the Capitol building, the White House, and Lincoln Memorial before going on a river cruise past the airport and Pentagon.

Washington DC

Washington DC

We then went to the Space museum, where I touched part of the moon, before heading back off towards New York.

Stopping in Philadelphia for just 15 minutes, we got to see the Liberty Bell and the Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, before making our way back to New York and completing our excursion.

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Although the excursion was very quick, and involved a lot of driving, I really didn't mind, I got to see a lot of things and have now seen everything in the USA I wanted.

Having arrived back in New York, the following morning 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.

South Tower Fountain

South Tower Fountain

After visiting the moving site, I then took a short walk over to take the free Staten Island ferry which gives a great view of the Statue of Liberty as it goes past (which many others seemed to also realise).

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

The change in Staten 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.

Manhattan

Manhattan

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

Central Park

Central Park

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.

Manhattan

Manhattan

I then finished the day and my trip with a wander around Central Park, before heading off to the airport and my flight home.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged waterfalls boat tower park city capital parliament border rtw niagara liberty Comments (2)

Miami Beach

RTW - Miami

overcast 25 °C
View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


Having briefly visited Miami (well, the airport) ten days previously, I returned to the the city after flying back over the beautiful Caribbean.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

This time having a much longer transfer, after getting through the rudest immigration department I have <u>ever</u> had the misfortune of dealing with, and having to re-check-in my luggage I went into the city itself. There wasn't an awful lot to see other than Miami Beach and the downtown areas - the novelty of these had probably worn off by the better examples in the Caribbean itself. However it was interesting to see the famous city, and it gave me something to do whilst I waited in the airport to board my flight to New York.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged beach rtw Comments (0)

"Are Polish people still stealing all your jobs?"

RTW - San Francisco


View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


After being in Los Angeles for almost a week in total, I was on to my final West Coast destination - San Francisco. Taking the same coach as that to Las Vegas, I learned to get there earlier so I could nab a seat at the front of the double decker coach. Sitting there I got chatting to the lady opposite, a Polish immigrant who moved to San Fran some years ago, making the long journey less boring, and after telling her I had just finished at Uni she even jokingly asked me how the job hunt was going, and whether the "Polish people were still stealing our jobs"!

After the coach broke down just into the journey causing us to be delayed by 3 hours, we were informed that we would also be receiving a refund on our journeys - meaning my two trips with Megabus across California had cost me just £1!

What a difference...

What a difference...

...a day makes!

...a day makes!

Arriving in San Francisco was definitely a shock to the system, the weather was much more Autumn like, and on the first day the fog levels were so bad over the harbour, that even being on the Golden Gate Bridge, I could still not see it! - even when it had cleared over the rest of the city! Luckily, the following day when I took the boat across the Alcatraz, the weather was much better and I got to go and see the bridge afterwards!

Alcatraz

Alcatraz


San Francisco Trams

San Francisco Trams

I also got to experience a ride on the trams and witness the crazy gradients the city was built on(!) as well as the pier-side and the gayest underground station I could possibly imagine!

Lombard Street

Lombard Street

The inevitable question is which city did I prefer, and I can say most definitely San Francisco - the income disparity is much less noticeable, making begging far less bothersome, and the level of infrastructure and number of sights were far more superior.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged hills bridge city rtw Comments (0)

Hollywood

RTW - Hollywood

sunny 26 °C
View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


After visiting the desert I had arrived back in Los Angeles, staying in Hollywood for the next 5 days. The following day was Friday, and one of the few days that the Six Flags Theme Park was open, with massive rides - one of the few things I was interested in doing in America, and so I got up nice and early to make my way across the city by three methods of transport to the theme park. Being a Friday, the theme park was almost empty, despite having some of the biggest rides I'd ever seen - making queues for massive rollercoasters almost non-existent. This meant that by 4pm, I'd already been on all the 12 rollercoasters I had wanted. The day was lovely too, like any summer day we could dream of in England! Definitely worth it!

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

The following day I made my way over to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, exploring the stars and viewing the sign from many different locations.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The day after had originally been planned to visit Universal Studios, but after reassessing the cost, and the levels of enjoyment I decided I would skip it, and have a rest day instead - Six Flags was so much better than I expected that that was enough to satisfy me.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

On my last full day I went off to visit the Beverly Hills Area, walking past the huge gated mansions and down to Rodeo Drive, such a different world from the rest of the city, with its poor infrastructure and huge numbers of beggars (being asked for money less than 5 times in a day was slowly being considered a good day!).

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged city tourism rtw themepark Comments (0)

"What happens in Vegas...goes on the Internet"

RTW - Las Vegas & Arizona

sunny 30 °C
View Round The World Trip on kmmk17's travel map.


After catching my pre-booked 7 hour coach ride to Las Vegas, costing me £1 with free WiFi and power sockets, and driving past Death Valley, I had eventually arrived in Las Vegas.

Welcome to Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas

As I had done a lot of research before travelling, I had found that hotels in Las Vegas vary considerably in price depending on the day of the week. By making my trip solely in the week I was able, even on my travelling budget, to still stay in one of the resort hotels relatively cheaply - getting my own 4 bed (6 Kevin-sized) room all to myself for around £35.

Stratosphere

Stratosphere

After arriving at the Stratosphere Hotel, the first thing I did in the city was to go up the tower to get a night view over the city.

New York, New York

New York, New York

The following day was spent exploring the city in full - starting at the welcome to Vegas sign and then walking up The Strip, going in and out of the elaborate hotels, with their replicas of Jungles, Ancient Egypt & Rome, Paris, New York and my favourite - Venice (if only because it looked so much like the original, only cleaner).

Inside the Venetian

Inside the Venetian

All of these hotels had their own amenities - pools, shops, casinos and even McDonald's and Starbucks. In many ways this place was like Dubai, not just because of the huge fountains, but the theme-park idea of building anything you want in the desert.

The following day, I had pre-booked myself an excursion to the Grand Canyon - however because of the ridiculous Government Shutdown, the whole excursion was threatened with cancellation - but luckily Arizona State was paying to keep the National Park open for the week.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The day was very long, taking around 7 hours one way to get to the canyon (what better to do 2 days after after a 7 hour coach journey, than take another one!), and once we had finally arrived there wasn't even that much to do. Although at least we got to see Route 66 and the Hoover Dam on the way.

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

As with Sydney Harbour, it's nice to see, but there's only so many pictures you can take of the same thing - however saying this, I wouldn't regret going there.

Taking a long lie in the following day I took a little flutter on the roulette in the Casino, winning and coming away with a $10 profit after continuing to play for a while after my win.

The Venetian

The Venetian

I then went up the Stratosphere tower again (free as I was a guest of the hotel), however this time in the day, viewing the extreme rides at the very top of the tower, before going for a walk to see the Drive through Wedding chapels, and avoiding the gun shops on my way back. I then finished off the day by heading down to the strip for the night time shows outside the hotels - pirate ships, fountains and volcanic eruptions!

Volcano!

Volcano!

This is one of the few places in the world where even after 3 days, I could go back and still be entertained. The following day I explored the Downtown area, before taking a coach back to Los Angeles.

Drive Through Wedding Chapel

Drive Through Wedding Chapel

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in USA Tagged canyon lake city valley rural rtw entertainment Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 » Next