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Entries about capital

New York & The North East USA

RTW - New York

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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)

Berlin

German Adventures - Berlin

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Hello everyone! Hope you are all well!
So, as I mentioned last time, Germany is keeping me busy! This weekend was the trip to Berlin.

On Friday morning we met at the University and took a coach for 5 hours to the German capital. In the afternoon we went into the centre and had a scavenger hunt. You will be pleased to know that my team were crowned the winners, despite us having spent the least time completing it!

Reichstag

Reichstag

I was told a funny story about one of the groups - my housemate Rodrigo was trying to answer the question "How many types of Coffee are there in Germany", and so he went in to a Café and was about to ask a lady - when one of his team members stopped him, as it was the German Chancellor - Angela Merkel! Unfortunately I did not see her, but I did see her house...some consolation. After the hunt we went to a restaurant for a meal, and then I went with half of the group to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) where you can go onto the roof and see views of the city. On Saturday we got back on the coach and were taken on a three hour tour of the city seeing most of the sights.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

After the tour ended we were free for the afternoon, so I decided to go and visit the bits of Berlin I had missed or had changed since I last saw the city two years ago. This included seeing the sight of Hitler's bunker, the reconstruction of the Berlin Wall and Tempelhof Airport, which is now an open park. I also noticed an epic flag shop on the city tour in the morning, however when i went to the shop at 3:00 it was already closed....pity because it was seriously epic.

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

On Sunday we visited Charlottenburg Palace, where some of the Kings of Prussia used to live in Summer. We then left the city and came back to Bremen. It was a good trip, but cold! Back in Bremen the work at Uni is getting harder...a number of presentations are coming up, but its not so bad. Last weekend I went to Heide Park, which is the German Equivalent of Thope Park (they even have the same logo). As it was the last day of opening before it closed for the winter, it was pretty quiet, so we got on all the rides very fast.

This week was also good, as I received the first of my Erasmus payments (essentially an extra grant for covering extra costs of living abroad, funded by the EU) which was £780 - very nice! Next week is the International Day, where we shall bring a taste of Britain to Bremen...literally - we are planning to make some scones for the Germans. Next weekend is also the beginning of the Christmas Markets....Although all shops have Christmas decorations already out, and so do some houses! I will let you know soon about the next exciting events in my German Adventures!

Viel Spaß! Kevin.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Germany Tagged city friends capital themepark erasmus Comments (0)

REDUZIERT!!

DACH 2009 - Berlin

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Having retraced our steps back to Basel Airport, we flew to Berlin to explore the German capital.

Reichstag

Reichstag


Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

We began by visiting the German Parliament and the Brandenburg Gate, before heading down towards the Topography of Terror, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.

On the following day, me and Mum went over to Oranienburg to explore the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

Panda at the Berlin Zoo

Panda at the Berlin Zoo

On the final day we went to Berlin Zoo to see Knut and the panda, before making our way to Bernauerstraße and the Olympic Stadium.

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall


Olympiastadion

Olympiastadion

One of Kayleigh's highlights being the trip to KiK, where they were having a sale, meaning T-shirts were for sale for just 50 cents!

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Germany Tagged history city capital parliament olympic macabre dach Comments (0)

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