Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Express Meadowlands

Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, September 11, 2009

Early mornings seem to be a problem at the moment and once again it was after 8 before we woke up not to beautiful sunshine but to pouring rain :-( 

As it was the memorial of 9-11 all of the TV channels were showing the service going on at Ground Zero.  We remember where we were when 9-11 took place and remember the horror and terror unfold on TV, however, we had no idea how upsetting today was going to be and the weather seemed to make it worse.

After breakfast we headed out to catch the bus into Manhattan (a 15 min journey if the traffic was good.)  The journey to down town involved driving through the Lincoln Tunnel and sitting in a traffic queue for some time...............not a pleasant experience with traffic all around you, forward and back! 

After about half an hour we arrived at the Port Authority Bus Station and then got the subway down to the South Ferry to Battery Park as we had a date with the Statue of Liberty.  Since 9-11 security around the statue has increased dramatically, but we had no idea what we were in for until we got there.  Before we got on the ferry out we had airport security where our bags and ourselves were checked.  We then boarded the ferry out in the pouring rain.  Even though the rain was so bad you could still make out the skyline of Manhattan - a very different place to the view I looked at last time I was there.  The skyline looked so bare without the presence of the towers.

It was still pouring with rain when we arrived at the island so it was time for lunch.  All day we kept thinking back to 9-11.  What must it have been like being on the subway when it happened?  How many of the folk around us were involved?  One of the ladies working on Liberty Island told us that she was on the ferry going out to work when the first plane hit and the ferry turned around and went back to Manhatten.

After lunch it was more security.  We had to put our bags in lockers and then walk into a machine to check for explosives before we could go into the bottom of the statue, into the museum and walk up the 156 steps to look up inside the statue and walk around the lower balcony.  Tickets for the crown sold out months ago!!

Even though the weather was so wet and windy it was still good to visit as it is a place that Jeff has wanted to visit for many years and the children have seen the statue on many films.  I have visited the island twice before but both times were glorious sunshine.  The weather certainly matched the sombre feeling around New York.

After walking around the base of the statue and taking some photos, we headed back to Manhattan.  We wandered along to look at the temporary memorial for 9-11 which was surrounded with flags naming all of the victims of the attack and the ghostly picture of a fire fighter strewn on the floor with roses near the eternal flame.  I vaguely remember the statue when it was in the square between the two towers.  It seems strange to see it her now, all battered and bent.

We then wandered in the rain up towards Ground Zero amongst the sirens of 5 fire engines, obviously going out to an incident.  All the way up the road we kept looking at buildings around us, wondering what it must have been like being in this particular area on that morning.  We stopped to look at the gaping hole which still looks like a building site before moving on.  It was absolutely pouring down with rain and it felt rude to stop for too long, particularly today.

We then got the subway to Time Square to experience the lights and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Then we took two very tired little children home on the bus to get some well earned rest.  Let's hope that the weather is better tomorrow.
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