Yet another travel blog.
The New Continent. The place for new beginnings. America.
I had the opportunity to travel to the United States last month and I decided to write a little guide and share my impressions with all of you. It is certainly an interesting place to visit and I do recommend the experience – after all, this is the best way of gaining knowledge. As we all know now, it is absolutely impossible for me to write short articles, so the whole trip will be divided into several posts. There’s no way I can summarise 5 flights, 9 hotels and 15 days in one…
So, let’s begin!
Me and the fiancé were fortunate enough (okay, he is the brains when it comes to planning trips and getting deals and using bonus points…) to be able to upgrade to Business Class on a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to JFK, New York. And that, my dear friends, was one great start of a journey. Now, I’m not saying that every time you should travel that way, but it is certainly an experience that cannot be easily forgotten. Long story short (because otherwise I can write a whole blog post only about the flight) – champagne on board, 5 star food, amazing staff and unique comfort! At some point, after more than 7 hours in the air, we even felt a bit sad that we were landing! As a bonus comes the fact that for some reason on every on-board game I beat Rosen, which is usually impossible.
We planned to spend only two days in New York, as we only wanted to see the most tourist-y places. Living in London means that big cities rarely get to fascinate you (blog post coming soon). The first night we stayed in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which made it extremely easy to walk around and see Central Park, Trump Tower (!!!), Time’s Square and the famous 5th Avenue.
Central park is absolutely lovely, but you need to watch where you’re walking – there are tons of carriages with horses and they ambush you from everywhere – either trying to run you over, or offering you a ride.
At 5th Avenue make sure you take a minute to appreciate all the beautifully arranged windows of the famous brands – Tiffany’s (obviously), Dior, Cartier…
I don’t think you’d be able to spend more than 5 minutes at Times Square, just because the noise is absurd, so quickly take a photo and run!
One thing that you must NOT miss while in New York is eating pizza. But not a fancy one. Just the dirtiest possible pizza, covered in grease and topped with every possible thing you could imagine. Honestly, best pizza ever. Highly advised to be consumed while sitting on one of the iconic staircases that we’ve seen in so many movies. Do not even think about the calories. By the end of your visit in the States your abs will just be a lovely memory.
The second night we moved a bit to the south and spent the night in a hotel in Chelsea, which gave us the opportunity to walk to Empire State Building, take the subway to the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street and enjoy a nice boat ride to Liberty Island.
Little tip from me – it is absolutely pointless to try and get to the Empire State. You will see NOTHING. Honestly, just huge building – it is so much more fascinating if you’re looking at it from a distance! If you’re in New York on a sunny day it might be worth going on top of it, so you can have a look around the city, but with us it was rather pointless, as it was quite cloudy.
Next tip: Aaaaaaalways buy your tickets for the attractions from the official kiosk/websites. There are so many people chasing you around the streets, offering you fake tickets on “promotional” prices, that it’s hard to even reach your destination. Here is the place to mention, that I certainly expected the Statue of Liberty to be bigger, for some reason. There is a free ferry going around the island and there is one that stops at it. I highly recommend paying the extra cash, because the view of the Manhattan skyline is absolutely fabulous, furthermore you actually get enough time to enjoy the surroundings while walking around Liberty Island.
Enough with New York – you know the basics. You need a Metro card for the subway (get it from the station), there are plenty of shops (beware of the sneaky thing and do NOT hire a car from the city, as the rates are ridiculous. There are free internet hot spots around the city, but I personally preferred the comfort of data roaming (ask your mobile network for any deals, mine are O2 and their conditions are awesome).
Speaking of car rentals, we did exactly that mistake, but oh well – we live and we learn. For the first time in my life I drove an SUV and an automatic gear box (apart from the supercars). We had the pleasure of adopting a cute Nissan Rogue for a few days, considering that at home our “large” car is a Mercedes C Class cabriolet, in the Nissan we were pretty much missing 3 kids and a dog. I won’t get into details about the car any more than that, I will just say that it is comfortable and reliable, but the acceleration is a pain and the gear box is a nightmare. But if you’re a person, who has zero petrol in the blood, then the SUV is a wonderful option.
Being now on 4 wheels, it was time to begin our drive to Niagara Falls and crossing the Canadian border, but this I will leave for the next blog post, as the beauty of the place deserves all the attention! Also make sure you follow my Instagram for more photos!