Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Trip Start May 21, 2006
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United States  , New York
Monday, May 22, 2006

Got up in the crack of dawn. Took the subway to Castle Clinton to start our more than 2 hours of line up to board the ferry to Liberty Island. Located on New York Bay, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of love of liberty shared between France and the United States during the American Revolution. Even though this Statue was patterned after a Roman goddess, Libertas, the sad thing was when it was unveiled back in 1886, no women were invited to the event. Once my husband and I arrived, we joined the promenade tour which took us through the monument lobby, past the original torch and then to a park ranger guided tour to the museum. After a brief introduction by the ranger, we were left to go over the permanent exhibit in the museum that details it's origin and construction (full size mold) and the story of her evolution. After touring the museum, we then started our observatory tour where we visited the pedestal observation platform (about 150' in height) for views of Manhattan skyline. Inside the pedestal, people can view the interior framework of the Statue as designed by Gustave Eiffel. We wrapped up our visit to Liberty Island after proceeding outside onto the lower promenade of Fort Wood. We then boarded the ferry to our next stop, Ellis Island.

Ellis Island, although much overshadowed by Liberty Island, seems to be a more fascinating place to visit. Once a military fort, it evolved into an Immigration station for the Port of NY. Between 1892 and 1954, Ellis Island became the gateway to the American dream for more than 12 million people, amongst them, Bob Hope and Max Factor. We were glad we picked up the "Gateway audio tour". It led us through an experience that replicated the immigrants' journey through the Island, some ending with happiness, on the other hand, some ending with sorrow. There is a collection of artifacts brought by immigrants to America that truly shows the diversity of immigrants passing through that gate.
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