Home of the cheese steak sandwich
Trip Start Sep 23, 2010
366Trip End Jul 13, 2012
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Where I stayed
Cozy south Philly home on airbnb
Three hours later (and I only managed to work out the free wifi internet 5mins before arriving) and we arrived into Philly, (after passing through Delaware, one of our missing states), where we loaded up our bags and walked a block to the Metro station. Here you pay for a token (and at the moment you can buy 2 tokens for $3.10 instead of $2 each) and then pay a dollar transfer for the bus that we needed at the other end. Managing the Metro and Bus without too much hassle, we walked one block and we'd arrive at our next airbnb accommodation and let ourselves in. Waiting for us was a note and a bag of homemade cookies welcoming us. After dumping our bags in our room, we walked down to the supermarket to buy the fresh veggies we needed for dinner and then walked back. Around 6.30pm, Sara arrived and we introduced ourselves, then we got on making dinner. As we only had a few days here, we needed to plan New York, so we set about booking a bus and accommodation
Weds 23rd May.
Got up at 8.30, had breakfast then walked into the city centre. It only took us three quarters of an hour walking along ever changing rows of houses that went from workers style to more up market the closer we got to the centre. After getting tickets for Independence House and a map from the visitor centre, we set off on a walk of the recommended sights. First stop was Franklin Court where Benjamin Franklin's house used to be before they tore it down and replaced it with a metal frame. Then we went to Carpenters Hall, where the first continental congress met. From there we walked past some lovely gardens and down to the Philadelphia Exchange which is a lovely old colonial building with a very nice curved rear where merchants gathered to sell their wares. We then went to Christ Church where congress worshipped as a group. Next stop was Elfreths Alley, the oldest residential street in America, then onto Betsy Ross's house where she sewed the first stars and stripes flag. Then we wandered down to Christ Church burial ground to see the resting place of Benjamin Franklin. After a quick bite to eat, we walked over to Declaration House where Jefferson rented a room and wrote the Declaration of Independence. As our pre-booked tour was in an hour, we headed over to see the Liberty Bell and then queued up for our tour of Independence Hall
Thurs 24th May.
Got up at 8.30am, had breakfast then walked back into the centre but this time we got on the mural route. Around Philly there are lots of murals covering bare walls to try and discourage graffiti. It took us a few hours to walk round the ones on the route with one missing as the building had been renovated. After stopping in Macy's department store to use the loo, we walked through the french second empire style building of City Hall. It's an amazing looking building that has a huge tower on one side. Then we walked across to JFK Plaza that had a purple coloured water fountain that was normally clear but today was Lupos Awareness Day and they had somehow turned the water purple. After an expensive hot fudge sundae we carried on along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, but just as we got to the Free Library the heavens opened so we had to run for cover into this amazing looking building. While waiting for the rain to stop we had a wander round inside. Once the rain eased, we carried on past the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul down to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where Rocky was filmed running up the steps. First we got a photo of the Rocky statue, then we walked (we didn't run) up the steps and did the the Rocky celebration at the top as well as a few boxing poses. The museum building is pretty impressive too, as is the view of the city skyline. Mission accomplished, we walked back through the city and down to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the house
Fri 25th May.
Got up at 8.30am, had breakfast, then loaded up and walked to the bus stop. At the bus stop was a sign that read, that the bus was being diverted and we had to catch it a few blocks up. At the next bus stop, there was another sign diverting us to another stop that we didn't know of and we'd left the map behind. So we asked for directions and finally got to a bus stop that was still in use. We caught the bus and got off at the subway and caught a train back to 30th St to get on a Bolt Bus. Luckily we left early what with the hassle with the bus, but we ended up an hour early. Just as we were getting ready to sit and wait, one of the bus staff asked if we wanted to catch an earlier bus. So we caught the 12pm instead of the 12.30pm and as Cat had chatted up the fun staff, we got the front seat. So far we're preferring Bolt Bus over Megabus as the staff are much friendlier, they have overhead bins and let you carry two bags on board. Oh and the wifi worked well to.