Day 6 & 7 - Niagara Falls, Gettsyburg & Amish Farm

Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, May 13, 2011

This day was very long and had a lot of content. We travelled into Pennsylvania and the country where the Civil War was largely waged, and where the North first started defeating the South which turned the course of history around and saw America emerge as one nation rather than two. But we did not get to the battlefields until well into the afternoon, I think it was after Gettysburg is also the site of one of the most famous speeches by an American President.  President Lincoln dedicated a military cemetery at Gettysburg with the "Gettysburg Address".

Of course there was lots of driving around the battlefields, photo stops, and the inevitable toilet or 'restroom' stops. (Whoever does actually 'rest' in them?) So by the time we left that area the sky was dark & threatening and we still had a lot of travelling to do. We had, as always, had the wake up call at 6.00 am, and only got to our Hotel after 7.15 pm. Then we had to wait for our cases which had to be brought to the second floor without lifts, and then work out what to do for meals. The nearby mall had virtually closed down by or so and the Hotel restaurant provided the worst service on the whole trip. So we were all glad when we actually got meals and got back to our rooms. I think that was at a place called York.

The next morning after leaving the hotel we were in Amish Country, and that was very interesting. We learnt and saw a lot, and part of our tour took us to an Amish house and farm which is set up as a tourist attraction. In spite of the fact that they don't use electricity in their daily lives they did accept credit cards for payment of goods from their shops, electronically too. It is surprising how many mod cons they are prepared to use in a modified way. They will use generators for some power, and although they plough their fields with horse teams and equipment, they use lawn mowers and line trimmers as they have their own power source. They also modify things like electric hand mixers and wringer washing machines by adapting them to compressed air operation, or have gas fridges. In some areas they have a separate road lane because their horse and buggies are so much slower than regular traffic. We were surprised later at a big tourist shopping village that there were many young Amish women working there and some men were providing short rides on their horse and buggies. So there are situations where they use and utilise modern conveniences and parts of society, and other parts that are completely shunned. Their young people have an option of choosing whether to continue in the way of life between about 18-22 years old, but it must be for life. It was all very interesting, and in many ways sad, as well as admiring a steadfastness that keeps them from fully entering into modern life. But the anomalies are hard to fathom, and in many ways hard to respect. Interestingly though their properties were always immaculately kept, with often very big homes in excellent condition, with flourishing vegetable and house gardens.

On leaving the Amish country we travelled on the Washington DC where we arrived by mid afternoon and did some touring around before arriving at out hotel.

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Karina Miegel on

Hi Kathy and Max,

This blog is great!! and could not go past the horsey pictures without making a comment...

Jane and I are at work (working ofcourse!!) looking at your blog!!!

Keep Enjoying!!

Love from us both!!

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