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Leg 10 – Denver (USA) to Newark (USA)

United Airlines UA 1643 – Boeing 757-200


View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

Leg_10_-_Denver_to_Newark.png

Depart: Denver US (DEN), 23rd May 2013 12:34 Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7)
Arrive: Newark US (EWR) Terminal C, 23rd May 2013 18:24 Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)
1,626 miles (3 hours 50 minutes)

Our plane backing away from the terminal at Denver Airport

Our plane backing away from the terminal at Denver Airport

This actually turned out to be the roughest flight of my entire round the world trip. It was delayed 9 hours and we then flew through the tail end of the storm associated with the Oklahoma Tornado over Pennsylvania.

Several people (including the chap next to me) threw up and when we eventually landed in Newark New Jersey the passengers gave a round of applause!

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged flights us_east_coast external_links Comments (0)

Independence Hall Philadelphia

America's most historic square mile

semi-overcast 17 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

The first city my family took me to visit on the US East Coast was Philadelphia and in particular the L-shaped group of downtown city blocks that make up the Independence National Historic Park and contains many of the key the historical buildings from the time of the American Revolution. Having parked underneath the Independence Visitor Center and made our way past our first Benjamin Franklin look-a-like, I got my first view of Independence Hall ...with a group of Chinese looking people surreally performing Falun Dafa on the lawn out front trying to attract new recruits!

My first view of downtown Philadelphia

My first view of downtown Philadelphia


The Independence Visitor Center and National Constitution Center in Independence Park

The Independence Visitor Center and National Constitution Center in Independence Park


My first view of Independence Hall

My first view of Independence Hall


'Falun Dafa' being performed on the lawn in front of Independence Hall

'Falun Dafa' being performed on the lawn in front of Independence Hall

Our first stop however was to see the famously cracked Liberty Bell which has become an iconic symbol of freedom. The bell was originally made in London and hung in the then State House (now Independence Hall) in 1753 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pennsylvania's constitution with the inscription from the Bible Leviticus 25:10 "Proclaim Liberty through all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof". The bell was only tolled for important occasions (most notably for the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776) but became cracked sometime between 1817 and 1846 and after several attempts to repair it hasn't been rung since.

X-rays of the Liberty Bell showing its famous crack

X-rays of the Liberty Bell showing its famous crack


The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell


Me stood by the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall through the window behind me

Me stood by the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall through the window behind me

The centrepiece of the National Park is Independence Hall itself, a world heritage site and a lovely example of Georgian Quaker architecture. Although free to get in (as are most government owned heritage buildings) we needed timed tickets that had to be booked several days earlier. Our tour began with a talk in the East Wing explaining the historical context (as a Brit I was surprised how the American Revolution was portrayed as something few really wanted and was stumbled into almost as a last resort).

Independence Hall

Independence Hall


Washington's Statue outside Independence Hall

Washington's Statue outside Independence Hall


Plaque commemorating Independence Hall as 'The Birthplace of the United States of America'

Plaque commemorating Independence Hall as 'The Birthplace of the United States of America'


Horse and Carriage passing the front of Independence Hall

Horse and Carriage passing the front of Independence Hall

We were than taken into the main building underneath the white clock tower and shown the Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and then the Assembly Room itself (which is where everything happened - George Washington appointed Commander-in-Chief 1775, Declaration of Independence adopted 1776 and a lot more besides).

Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court


Independence Hall Assembly Room - where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776

Independence Hall Assembly Room - where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776

Behind Independence Hall is Independence Square which is where first public reading of the Declaration of Independence happened in 1776. In the middle of the square is statue of John Barry, born in Wexford (Ireland) in 1745 he was the first captain of a US warship and is credited with being "The Father of the American Navy" (an epithet sometimes also used for John Paul Jones).

The back of Independence Hall from Independence Square

The back of Independence Hall from Independence Square


Replica of Stretch's 1753 Clock on the west end of Independence Hall

Replica of Stretch's 1753 Clock on the west end of Independence Hall


Commodore Barry's Statue and the back of Independence Hall in Independence Square

Commodore Barry's Statue and the back of Independence Hall in Independence Square

We then hoped to visit Congress Hall on the west side of Independence Square (which is where the US Congress met between 1790 and 1800) but there was quite a long wait until the next tour so I decided to cover this off when I was due to visit Philadelphia again a bit later on my trip. Instead we had a look around the West Wing of Independence Hall which is where original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States are on display.

The West Wing of Independence Hall from Independence Square with the Congress Hall just beyond

The West Wing of Independence Hall from Independence Square with the Congress Hall just beyond


Copy of the Declaration of Independence inside the West Wing - no flash allowed!

Copy of the Declaration of Independence inside the West Wing - no flash allowed!


Inkpots used to sign the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution

Inkpots used to sign the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution

The final historic site we passed was Franklin Court which consists of a row of five restored tenement shops, three of which were originally built by Benjamin Franklin in the 1780s. They lead onto a courtyard where Benjamin Franklin's house itself once stood which has an underground museum filled with artifacts associated with him but we didn't have time to go in and see it. Amongst the restored tenement shops is a 18th century printing shop - similar to Franklin's own business, a postal museum and a real US post office - the only one in the country that does not fly the US flag as it didn't yet exist when it first opened in 1775.

Franklin Court Market Street Houses

Franklin Court Market Street Houses


The US Post Office at Franklin Court

The US Post Office at Franklin Court

We then went on an unsuccessful quest to find somewhere I could try the local fast food known as a Philly Cheesesteak before my 2 hour train journey from Trenton into New York to see an exhibition soccer match at the Yankee Stadium. That dubious culinary delight will have to wait for me until another time!

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged museums city chinese philadelphia us_east_coast constitutions Comments (0)

Blue Moon rising over the Yankee Stadium

I get to see my soccer team Manchester City play against Chelsea in New York and then experience the 2013 Cicada swarm in New Jersey

overcast 12 °C
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I have supported Manchester City since I was kid, at the time they had a striker called Francis Lee and as my namesake he became my hero and City my team after I got teased at school that my name Francis was a girl's name. I knew City were in the USA playing a series of exhibition games against Chelsea but never in my wildest dreams expected a chance to see them. So when my cousin announced his fiancée had managed to get us tickets for their game against Chelsea at New York's Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx I was over the moon.

Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx, New York

Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx, New York


Joining the queue at Gate 6 outside the Yankee Stadium

Joining the queue at Gate 6 outside the Yankee Stadium

When we got to our seats the two teams were warming up on the pitch with their club anthems playing as background music, "Blue is the Colour" for Chelsea and "Blue Moon" for Manchester City. Unfortunately in all the rush to get to the stadium from Philadelphia in time I did not have a chance to change into my City shirt that I had brought with me on my round the world trip.

Our first view of the pitch with the teams warming up

Our first view of the pitch with the teams warming up


Close up of the City players warming up

Close up of the City players warming up

Before kick off there was a moving minute's silence for Lee Rigby, the British Soldier murdered on the street in Woolwich South London, and the 23 victims of the Oklahoma Tornado. Both tragedies had happened only a few days previously and were still very much at the top of all the news bulletins.

Scoreboard tribute to the British Soldier murdered in Woolwich

Scoreboard tribute to the British Soldier murdered in Woolwich


Scoreboard tribute to the victims of the Oklahoma Tornado

Scoreboard tribute to the victims of the Oklahoma Tornado

The two teams then lined up for the American National Anthem before kick-off. During the line-up the Manchester City team wore dark blue shirts with light blue "New York City FC" moons on the front to advertise their link-up announced only a few days before with the Yankees to create a new MLS ('Major League Soccer') franchise from 2015. I was actually quite surprised and pleased how strong the squads both teams were putting out were and they each started the first half with what was virtually their entire first team on the pitch.

The two teams line-up before the start of the match

The two teams line-up before the start of the match


The Manchester City line-up for the first half on the Scoreboard

The Manchester City line-up for the first half on the Scoreboard


The Chelsea line-up for the first half on the Scoreboard

The Chelsea line-up for the first half on the Scoreboard

The game then got underway, Manchester City had beaten Chelsea 4-3 (after being 3-0 down) in their previous match in St Louis a few days before so I had my fingers crossed that we would witness a similar result in New York as well. I wasn't to be disappointed, at the end of the first half Manchester City were comfortably winning 2-0.

The game between Chelsea and Manchester City gets underway at the Yankee Stadium

The game between Chelsea and Manchester City gets underway at the Yankee Stadium


The City players huddle to congratulate Samir Nasri while his 1st goal is replayed on the Stadium Scoreboard

The City players huddle to congratulate Samir Nasri while his 1st goal is replayed on the Stadium Scoreboard


Samir Nasri's 1st goal (City's 2nd) is announced on the Stadium Scoreboard

Samir Nasri's 1st goal (City's 2nd) is announced on the Stadium Scoreboard

Both sides made a lot of changes at half time (including goalkeeper Petr Cech for Chelsea which prompted a particularly load cheer from their supporters) which gave Chelsea a chance to get back into the game but Manchester City still went on to win 5-3 so I went home very happy!

The players come off the field at the end of the first half

The players come off the field at the end of the first half


On the night Manchester City beat Chelsea 5-3, I was rather happy <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

On the night Manchester City beat Chelsea 5-3, I was rather happy :)


The West Concourse inside Yankee Stadium

The West Concourse inside Yankee Stadium

Back in Summit where I was staying there was the little matter of the Cicada Beetle swarm of 2013. These 2 inch long red eyed beetles come out of the ground in northern New Jersey only once every 17 years to breed creating a deafening din as they sing themselves to death for a few weeks while they try to attract a mate. The ground was covered with them, it was like a plague out of the Bible!

Me with a Cicada Beetle from the swarm of 2013

Me with a Cicada Beetle from the swarm of 2013


Close up of a Cicada Beetle

Close up of a Cicada Beetle

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in USA Tagged animals new_york sport videos us_east_coast Comments (0)

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