The last destination of our world trip, New York. For Tamar, New York (NY) was a ‘must visit’ location, a place she has wanted to visit all her life. Originally, our main plan was taking a freight ship back to Rotterdam from NY, as in the past many people travelled by ship between New York and Rotterdam (Holland America Line). Unfortunately traveling by freight ship was way to expensive and it would take at least 15 days to get to Rotterdam, so we decided to fly home instead. But let us first tell you about our adventures in the Big Apple.After spending 24 hours in Mexico City,
we breezed through border control and customs at JFK airport in NY to meet Afrodita, a friend we had made in Bangkok. She (very awesomely) suggested she could pick us up from the airport, which was impossible to turn down. We didn’t waste any time. After arriving at her house (were had our own room and bathroom :-)), we showered, coffeed, and caught the train into NYC! Exciting to be in the city and also to be doing the last stage of our trip.
The first thing we saw after getting out of the train was Grand Central.We wandered through this impressive building and walked to 5th Ave. The sun was shining, people around us very friendly and we were enjoying the atmosphere and views. So great to walk around in NY, it feels as if you are in a movie. We walked all over the city, both of us doing some much awaited shopping. NYC really is a walking city, particularly Manhattan. There is so much to see, both in terms of buildings and people. The skyscrapers loom overhead, the apartment buildings inspire much jealousy, regarding their position and cost. The diversity of people is beautiful to see. Many languages, races and religions all mingling on the streets.
We ended our day at Bryant Park. A salsa band was playing great music, there were people listing to the music and laying in the grass everywhere. We joined them in the grass and also did some salsa dancing. After eating our dinner at one of the many free terrace tables with chairs, we had a look in the New York Public library. A beautiful old building with interesting exhibitions, with glorious architecture.
The next day we went into the city a bit later, as we needed some extra sleep. Yes, we’re not young anymore… 😉 We took the metro to Central Park and walked around in this humongous park.
Then we caught up with a childhood friend of David’s sister who works at a hairdresser close to Central Park.We had to rush back into down town as we wanted to go to a Broadway show that night. Going to a Broadway show is expensive, especially if you want to see one of the most popular shows at the moment. But there are tricks for receiving a cheap ticket and those tricks we wanted to try out for the show ‘The Book of Mormon‘.
For Hamilton and the Book of Mormon you can participate in a lottery for seats and you can queue for some standing tickets available. The lottery is about two hours before the show starts and the standing tickets go on sale one hour before, both at the ticket office of the theater where the show is being held. We had no luck in the lottery (about 6x 2 person tickets available), but we were enough in front in the line to get some standing tickets (15x 2 person tickets available). So for $27,- pp we had amazingly good tickets, standing behind the orchestra level.
But before the show started we had some time left for dinner. So we went to a popular Korean Fusion restaurant and had some amazing food and saki. The Book of Mormon is a hilarious Broadway play (written by the creators of South Park), so we laughed our ass of for 2,5 hours. The jokes were very harsh sometimes, but honest and funny. Also the singing and acting was great. Afrodita picked us up at the theatre and we walked to Times Square for some night photography, before we caught the train and went home together.
What else did we get up to in our 4 days? Well, so much more walking! On Friday we walked along the waterfront, then walked the High line into Soho, Greenwich village, lower Manhattan and over the Brooklyn Bridge.
During our walk we ate several (halal) hotdogs (almost the only hotdogs you can find, still yummy ofc), a hamburger and chips at a burger restaurant, a couple of starbucks coffees and we had some oysters and a drink in Brooklyn Heights.
Next, the metro to South Ferry. From there we took the free ferry to Staten Island, passing the statue of liberty on the way. On Staten we took the following ferry back to Manhattan, because…
we weren’t finished with walking yet. After the ferry we walked through the financial district to ground zero (the place where the twin towers formerly stood) and went up to the observation deck of the One World building, the tallest building in NYC at over 500m high. We saw sunset from up there and then went to the impressive 9/11 memorial, before taking the train back home for some packing as we were leaving the next evening
Our last day we spent inside the American Museum of Natural History near Central Park. This museum is so big, that you need at least a week to see all exhibitions and halls. You can pay whatever you are willing to pay for the entrance in the museum, but then you can’t go to any of the special exhibitions. We wanted to see the Space Centre and a special movie in an auditorium about the universe so we had to pay the regular price for that. But it was definitely worth it. Great museum and a must visit when you are in NY.
We ended our last day in NY with a yummy lunch outside on a terrace, before taking back the train and starting with our final packing.
Sweet Afrodita brought us to JFK (airport) and so we started on our last leg of the world trip. Two flights and a train ride later, we arrived at the same place were we started our trip 365 days before, Rotterdam Central Station.
Our family was waiting there to welcome us back home
and we celebrated this event with them and our friends by taking some bits and drinks at Cafe Engels.
It felt good to be among our loved ones and friends again and that night we slept so well in our own bed, inspite of the big jetlag we had. Time for some summer adventures in the Netherlands and Europe!