Sunday, 4 January 2015

Our Last Day in New York

On Friday, after a couple of days shopping and relaxing, we did a bit of ‘tourism’.  What we didn’t appreciate was that it was the holiday season and the crowds around all the main sights were pretty large. We first visited the 9/11 site to claim our tickets for the new museum for later in the day.


Looking up from the base of the “One World Trade” building, which is now complete, the height of the structure is just breath taking.


The main concourse of the 9/11 site now has open access for the pubic to walk around and, just as we experienced the last time we visited, the atmosphere is one of disbelief and difficulty in any real comprehension of what happened on that spot.


Study of some of the names around the edges of the two water features brings home just a little of the tragedy – especially when you read “and her unborn child”.


The next item on the day’s agenda was a trip to the Statue of Liberty.  Although we booked tickets 6 months previously for a 12 o’ clock slot, the crowds and the general bad organisation meant we were 2 hours behind schedule when we finally got on the boat to Liberty Island. Still, while waiting we had a good view of the magnificent One World Trade building which dominates the older buildings around it.


We’d booked tickets for a trip into the crown of the statue and it was hard to think, as we approached this iconic landmark, that in a short while we’d be at the top.


After more queuing and double security checks we were let loose with the lady herself.  It was a strange view as we walked around the granite plinth …


…… but at last, after a long climb, which got tighter and tighter towards the top of the statue, we found ourselves in the crown and looking out of the tiny windows towards Manhattan.


James threw caution to the wind (and thankfully not the new temporary camera as well!) and poked his arm out of the tiny window to get this shot of the Liberty flame.


Here he is, still in one piece to tell the tale.


During our journey back to the mainland we felt a bit like refugee boat people!  The experience was eventually worth all the hassle and the hours of waiting but we’re not planning to do it again in a hurry.  We were so behind time that we had no chance of using our tickets to the 9/11 museum.  That will have to wait until next time as our 4 days in NYC were coming to an end.


However, as the perfect end to our brief stay, we met up with Doug’s school friend Linzie and her husband Bernie who live in the city. We enjoyed a great meal with them at Bill’s restaurant.


We had an hilarious couple of hours – not stop chat and laughter! It was so very special to meet up with them again.  Thanks guys!

Yesterday (Saturday) we made our way to the Brooklyn Cruise Liner terminal where, …………..


…….. through the rain spattered windows of the cab, we got the first glimpse of Cunard’s “Queen Mary II” which will be our home for a 7 day trans-Atlantic crossing.


We departed on time at 5:30 pm and, although it was lashing with rain, we just had to get out on deck and witness the liner passing under the Verrazano Narrows bridge, where the funnel just clears the underside of the bridge.

After that little bit of bridge excitement there was more joy on the cards as we met up with some UK and American friends for a planned trans-Atlantic reunion.  It should be a great week!

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