Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 35 - Statue of Liberty

So very excited this morning … climbing lady liberty today woohoo.  Early start too but overslept because the day before wore me out more than I thought and I forgot to grab my lunch that I prepared. Dufus dufus…
Where liberty is, there is my country -  Inside the security Tent 
The only thing was I unprepared for that was the weather.. I did not rug up enough for the cold weather which seemed to arrive overnight because it hadn’t been like that one the day before actually it had been a little warm.  So I got lulled into a false sense of security and didn’t rug enough later as I discovered when I got off the subway.
Looking towards New Jersey and the Colgate Clock  
The interesting thing I found this morning on the subway is the fact that eddy was right on the first day …no one on the subways smile.  Also I had to change subways but it was a little bit confusing because it was a major station and it was not well signed but I got there in the end.
Looking towards Downtown Manhattan
I came out down at battery park which is a cool subway stop with a massive old fashioned subway map on the wall and again it is confusing where to go.
the cool ole fashioned map of Manhattan and subway system  
My advice to anyone catching the circle line – once you get out of the station look at Staten Island ferry and Turn right and head towards the circle building which kind of looks like of a fort. It is in the middle of the park which is really pretty but because it took longer than I thought I didn’t take the time to look around thinking I could do it after I go back.  This is where you pick up your tickets to get onto the island.
Part of the old torch 
Of course I had to go through the mandatory security check points and got herded with the rest of the cattle onto the boat. It was then I realised how cold it was when I got down there because I was not rugged up enough because it was windy and rain was threatening! Arrgggh not here too!
Walking into the base of the statue  
Cruised across to Liberty Island aka Liberty State Park and because I was climbing to the top I had a special tag and had to go to the rangers office first then again through another security check point. 
Working my way through them slowly  
Then I had to put my stuff into a locker because you are not allowed to take anything up except for water and cameras. The lady told me probably not to worry about taking the jacket because it was warm inside the statue… the only thing she forgot was to warn me about how cold it gets outside.
from the top looking down 
Had to go through another security checkpoint so by this stage it was number 4 … unbelievable… talk about being over cautious. So went into the base of the statue and got to see the original torch and got to wander around the museum that is in the base which highlights the history of the statue.
looking down inside the statue... thems some shocking stairs 
Then we got taken up to the base of 322 stairs and got warned to take it slow… it is very deceiving and made me want my puffer which I normally never need.  The stairs especially as I got closer and closer to the top were steep like really steep.
The view from the crown 
I had to keep on taking breathers as I climbed up the top but when I got up there it was worth it.  While you think it is a bit of a letdown because there is nothing up on the viewing platform but the view and it is a tight squeeze. 
Looking towards the Torch side 
But OMG OMG OMG OMG …  I was finally here at the top of the statue of liberty…  Am I allowed to do a little dance?  I got lucky because I took my time the rest of my group had already been and gone so I got the viewing area all to myself…  
Part of Lady Liberties face

OMG OMG I am finally here…  doing the happy dance in my head right now… hahaha. What a truly awesome birthday present to myself?  :) 
Inside the statue ..  and coming down 
But wow what a view it was so worth it and very excited to one of the 200 people that get to go up every day out of the 2000 that usually visit the island every day.
On the way back down after following all my arrows that I had to I found my way outside … the coldness of the air took my breathe away, Literally! 

Some of the star points 
I just loved it … It was so high up and you understand how the area was once a fort because when you look down you can see all the points of the star which number 11 and was built in 1806. The interesting thing is the island is in 2 states so that means it is under federal control rather than the states of New Jersey and New York.  
It is worth the walk through the museum and you can see the history of the design including the different torches. Also how It was brought over from France in pieces and reconstructed here.
Now that is what I call a nut and bolt ? 
After walking around the first landing I went down to the Fort and froze again but it was a lot of fun with lots of tour groups and it was sooo cold but I did notice a lot of people wearing statue of liberty beanies so decided to attack the gift shop and see if I could get lucky with a beanie and jacket. 
the big white tent is the security tent and locker rooms
When I got to a locker tent so I could get my jacket … there was a major security lockdown happening! WTF So no access to the locker tent – even though there were staff telling everyone no you can’t get in please be patient and give us 10mins the amount of people argued with them. I decided to wait since I needed my jacket and I was getting really cold since I only had on my thin jumper.
Looking up from level 1 of the monument 
So I went out to enjoy lunch in the fleeting sunshine before I tackled the shopping because it was packed in the shop … the only thing I find weird about American people they really don’t get the concept of a) a vegetable doesn’t constitute a meal b) there is a line for a reason and c) it is not acceptable to put chips with everything. 
Top - Level 1 then level 2 and then base 
I tried to get a chicken salad sandwich and ended up with chicken cheese and lettuce … and chips on the side which I did not ask for.  In the meantime while I was waiting to be served I got pushed out of the way but luckily the girl at the counter saw what happened and I got served… I am not THAT short peoples… 
wweeeeee look at the hair trying to fly away ... Hard to self portrait 
Sat outside and as I sat down a seagull swopped and tried to steal one of my chips. Man these guys are aggressive and scary but luckily the cleaner warned me … 
About the island - which they officially call Bedloes but every one calls
it Liberty Island
Once I finished lunch I took myself off to the souvenir shop not only to rug up but also to warm up a bit as the wind was making it really cold.  Can’t believe I didn’t dress for the weather… should have known better! 
The Plaque in the museum 
Did my shopping and one beanie along with pink windbreaker later I was all set.  

The original cast
The beanie kept me a bit warmer along with a very special key ring for my darling twin.  
In the museum 
Given that it was mere hours from our birthday in Australia …I love this celebrating over 2 days and my truly awesome birthday present to myself ...  
In the museum

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