Monday, August 17, 2009

New York - Friday: Busy, Busy, Busy. We’re not to happy with the dis-embarkment procedures at New York, This was partly due to the organization by the Princess Line and the excessive procedures required by US, even though we had already passed immigration laws in San Francisco. It took around 2 hours queuing to get off the ship and through customs, before getting on with our plans for our day ashore. Since the hop on hop off bus had been suggested as a good way of seeing NY the first time, then that’s what we did. We viewed most the city from the top of the open level of the bus. We got off at only two of the stops, Ground Zero and Battery Point. We had lunch at an interesting café near Ground Zero and tried Chicken Adana (hadn’t heard of it before). It was spicy chicken rissoles with rice and salad and a creamy, lemony sauce. We shared one meal between the two of us and then still couldn’t eat it all. But it was tasty. It’s hard to appreciate the huge area of destruction on 9/11 until you see it. It’s now a hive of construction so even having seen the site you get feel the real impact it must have had soon after the event. From Battery Park you can see the little lady (Statue of Liberty) in the distance. I say little because she’s not nearly as big as one imagines. You nearly have to lie down to see the top of the Empire State building. Saw the Brooklyn Bridge and drove past Central Park but we were hot and tired (our 3 hour bus ride had become about 5 hours in total) so didn’t get off the bus. The smell of horse poo was rather strong as they have dozens of horse and carriages taking people around the Park. Too busy for us, and too many people. Very few people who live in the city own a car, so nearly every second vehicle was a yellow cab or a commercial vehicle. An interesting place but I wouldn’t want to live there – Neither Sydney or Melbourne come anywhere near the hustle and bustle. I would like to have got into Macy’s the biggest department store in the world but just ran out of time and energy. After setting sail at about 7.30 and watching NY fade into the distance from the top deck, we had an early night.

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