No trip to New York can omit seeing the Statue of Liberty. When you visit a new country working out how to travel from a to b is confusing. I read about using the Subway system and considered a bus but then I recalled being told about the Big Bus Tours. I ordered a two day ticket online and went to the given meeting place. I expected to meet the bus at this point however I met the Big Bus guide who scanned my barcode before giving me a ticket and directing me to the pick up point a few blocks away. The Red Lobster in Times Square. Once on the bus I was given headphones to wear to listen the guide talk. They stop at numbered destinations, give plenty of time to get off and appreciate tips. As I knew my planned destination was to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, I sat back and listened to the information about Downtown Manhattan and this gave me ideas for my next days trip.
Once I arrived at stop number 12 it was a short walk to the ferry, negotiating my way through touts. The huge ferry leaves the terminal goes past the Statue of Liberty (you need to be on the right hand side of the ferry to see her) and docks on Staten Island where everybody has to dismount and join the queue for the return ferry. The ferry is free and funded by the New York City Department of Transportation. As it was a sunny day I decided to walk to Richmond Terrace and look at the view back towards Manhattan.
I returned to the main land and strolled towards Battery Park. In the park there are numerous memorials, great views of the Statue of Liberty and the Hudson River. I walked past SeaGlass an indoor carousel where children can ride on iridescent glass fish. The memorials pay homage to service men and immigrants from all over the world.
A short walk took me to the 911 memorial. I felt a overwhelming sadness as I approached. The area is extensive with building work continuing still after 15 years. What strikes me is the size of the devastation that took place and how some smaller building with beautiful architecture survived. The memorials are stunning waterfalls set in the footprints of the original towers. Each one surrounded by bronze parapets containing the names of those who perished. The area is quiet with the sound of the water flowing and the moving trees which envelope each waterfall.
I leave the 911 memorial behind and walk east towards Brooklyn Bridge via Roast Kitchen where you can choose vegetables which are gathered in a bowl and heated in a pan whilst you wait. There is a choice of meats and grains which you can add after. Having spend hours outside in the cold, the respite from the breeze was welcomed as was the hot food.
Near Brooklyn Bridge is Fulton Street consisting of recognisable brands in a quaint cobble stoned shopping area with views towards Brooklyn Bridge. The Bridge lights up and looks pretty as daylight fads but staying here for long is cut short as the breeze from the river picks up, the weather turns and coldness sets in. Thankfully the Big Bus is close by. Unfortunately I am now on the last pick up of the day, the bus is packed and I sit on the top open decked area. I join the other passengers on the ride back in minus two degree weather, longing for the hot shower that awaits.
(A reflection from QJ - having reshared this post in 2022 which has been sitting in an old site I recall my braveness at exploring New York alone along with the amount of miles I walked the days I was there.)