No rest for the wicked! We were up early as we had a ferry booked for 10am across to Liberty Island to see the great lady herself. We braved the subway on our own and got down to Battery Park with no problems. Once again we had pre-paid tickets (I’ve done this throughout the trip) and skipped the line (queue!) and got on to the ferry. The boat was so full that it kept listing from side to side as people moved across to look at things! We got off and went and had a coffee and met Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty. He was a very interesting man and we learnt so much from him – Richard learnt a lot about the structure which I’m afraid went over my head! The statue, made of copper, was built by Gustave Eiffel and dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was a gift to the United States from the people of France. It was put up in Paris to make sure it all fitted together and then shipped across to New York where it was erected on the plinth which had been built by New Yorkers.
It was then time to go up to the top of the plinth. You can go on up to the Crown but a) I had left it too late to get a decent ascent time and b) I had been warned that it could get stifling on the staircase when the weather was hot. We cheated and took the elevator but still had a few stairs to do at the top. We walked out of the door and the sight before me brought tears to my eyes. I had had two cities on my bucket list – New York and Hong Kong. Both mainly for their skylines. I was lucky enough to visit Hong Kong in 2007 but now it was the daddy of them all (for me anyway). Once I had composed myself I was able to take in the most amazing skyline, sadly without the Twin Towers but fortunately we were able to see One World Trade Center completed.
Reluctantly we made our way back to the ground and headed back to the ferry to go to Ellis Island. The line for the ferry was so long that we thought we would be waiting for ages in the heat but in fact we only had to wait for a short time.
Sadly we didn’t find Ellis Island very interesting. We sat through a video of people reminiscing and both fell fast asleep! It was then back to Battery Park and then we walked round to Pier 11, past the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, where we were going to get another boat. We walked passed the heliport where the pleasure helicopter flights were coming in and out and my gorgeous husband offered to pay for me to go for a ride J I wasn’t going to say no – was I?? I had a short wait and then I was up and away seeing the New York skyline from another angle. Up over Governor’s Island, Liberty Island, Ellis Island and then up the Hudson River. Passed the One World Trade Center and Ground Zero, Empire State Building, Central Park and I could even pick out where we are staying. All too soon it was time to head back to heliport – but what an experience J
Back on terra firma it was off to catch the last hop-on hop-off boat which would take us almost home. The boat was very full but we managed to get on the top deck where it was lovely and cool and we had good views.
We staggered home via a waterfront bar and were going to go out for a meal but in the end we got the most enormous Chinese meal delivered. I don’t think we ate half of it!