Saturday, 27 February 2016

Welcome To New York | TRAVEL

We looked over the beautiful skyline of the city as we took the train from Washington DC to Penn Station, New York. I couldn’t stop smiling as we got off the train because we were finally here! All the planning, saving and dreaming had finally paid off and we had made it! New York, you did not disappoint.

We walked out of the station into the cold New York air and hailed a yellow cab to get us to our hotel for the next 5 nights. My first sight of the city was exactly as I imagined it would be, loud and extremely busy. People covered the streets and yellow cabs flooded the roads.

We made it to our hotel, checked in and away we went. We walked aimlessly for only minutes until we found ourselves staring at the big screens and bright lights of Times Square. 

It was getting colder as the darkness came closer but we kept walking. Next we found ourselves outside the busy Rockefeller Center. By this time it was late so we decided to head back to our hotel and call it a night after our tiring day of travelling, but not before heading back through Times Square again!

We woke up the next morning excited to explore more of this amazing city! We hopped on the subway and headed to South Ferry where we saw the statue of liberty from Battery Park. We then walked towards the new One World Trade Center

Just below, lay the September 11 Trade Center memorial. It was extremely moving to be standing where such a horrible event took place and thousands lost their lives. The memorial itself was very beautiful and I feel blessed to have been able to pay my respects and remember those who were lost and their families.

We continued walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge. We chose to hire bikes and bike over the bridge. It was very busy but the view of the city was gorgeous!

Later that night, we went up the Empire State Building and were welcomed by the most beautiful view of the city. We walked all the way around the building and lights stretched as far as the eye could see. It was absolutely stunning.

The next day we booked to go up the Top of the Rock so we walked to the Rockefeller Centre. We arrived early and walked around with the other eager tourists who were taking pictures in front of the famous Christmas tree and ice-skating rink outside the building.

After 20 minutes it was finally our turn to head up. We got to the Top of the Rockefeller Centre and the view was spectacular! It was a beautiful winter’s day and we were overlooking the entire city with remarkable views of Central Park and the Empire State Building.

When we finally came back down, we decided to keep walking down 5th avenue stopping at some stores along the way, including Sax. We eventually found ourselves at Central Park surrounded by hotdog stands and beautifully dressed up horses. We walked around for a while, taking in the atmosphere and scenery and by the time we were ready to leave it was dark. We made our way back for dinner and called it a night.

Our third day in New York, we chose to do some more sightseeing. We walked back to Central Park as there was more I wanted to explore there. On our walk we found Central Park Zoo. I am a HUGE animal lover so we spent a few hours visiting the animals.

We then began walking back towards our hotel, but not without grabbing a hotdog and churro from one of the famous carts along the road. We continued walking through the streets of New York. We found ourselves outside more famous landmarks, such as the Chrysler, the Flatiron building and the Christmas market at Bryant Park.

The fourth day was spent shopping!!!!! Once again we walked down 5th Avenue browsing through stores and stopping at little boutiques. New York is known for its amazing shopping so it was no doubt I spent a lot!

Our last day had sadly arrived. We chose to make this one special. We walked to the West Village because I wanted check out the beautiful brownstone houses. We grabbed a super healthy juice from one of the many juice bars as we walked through the streets of the West Village.

We ended our trip by going out for dinner at a beautiful romantic restaurant as we enjoyed our last few hours in America.

In the 5 days we spent in New York, it quickly became my favourite city. I fell in love with the tall buildings, the beautiful West Village, the fashion and food. I cannot wait to come back!

New York Travel Tips:
·      It is very easy to walk between most attractions, so bringing comfortable walking shoes is a must.
·      When hiring bikes, make sure to read the fine print! The bikes cost about $10 for 24 hours but they hold $101 out of your account as a deposit and return it after a week.
·      Purchase tickets to the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock at least a day in advance as you can pick the times you go. If you purchase online, most hotels should have a place to print the tickets. Aim to go on the clearest day or night.
·      New York seems massive and hard to navigate as the streets don’t have names, only numbers, but it is actually really easy! The numbers go in consecutive order so whatever direction you are going, keep count and you won’t get lost.
·      Don’t forget to tip! Anywhere you go in America it is compulsory. It is generally between 18% - 20% of the bill as a minimum depending on the quality of service you feel you received.
·      Transport: The yellow cabs are great! They know the tips and tricks of getting you to and from your destination quickly as they know the side streets. They can also be expensive, just like any other cab. Uber is also great to have on your phone! I find uber very cheap and very easy to use if you have internet access on your phone.

Thank you.

Amber x
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